(form ABC news website)
Boeing to Shutdown Production of the MD-11
Edited By J.D. Kohn/ June 3, 1998
The Boeing Company confirmed the long rumored shutdown of MD-11 production.
Long Beach Plant
It announced that it would phase out the production of the MD-11 jetliner over the next 18 months, putting about 3,000 jobs at the company's Long Beach production facility in jeopardy.
The Seattle-based aerospace giant "made a market-driven decision," said John Thom, a spokesman for Boeing's Long Beach facility.
"It's a disappointing decision," Thom said. "But we've all known for some time that the (MD-11) airline program was not getting the sales it needed."
The effect of the decision is not expected to be felt until mid-1999, Thom said; the last delivery of MD-11s will be made in February 2000.
Boeing took over production of the tri-engine jet, which can be configured to carry either passengers or freight, from McDonnell Douglas last year after the two companies merged in a $13.3 billion deal.
The MD-11's future has been in doubt since then.
Phil Condit, Boeing's chief executive, has said repeatedly that the company would continue to produce the jetliner only if it could attract orders.
Federal Express, which ordered three MD-11 freighters, is the only company to buy any of the planes this year.
This summer, Thom said, Boeing will decide if it will use the Long Beach facility to build 737s.
If Long Beach is selected as the production site, Thom said, the decision would "absorb some, but not all, of the (expected) layoffs."
Sean Walsh, Gov. Pete Wilson's press secretary, told the Los Angeles Times: "They have notified us of their intention to scale back the MD-11 program, and have indicated a strong desire to work with the state on other Boeing projects in an effort to ensure that few, if any, jobs are lost at the Long Beach facility."
Looks like we won't see any new MD-11's. Truly sad, it was the best DC-10 replacement, airlines didn't have to spend much money on re-training crews and the maintinance facilities were virtually the same for both the DC-10 and MD-11.