Boeing and Suppliers Strategize to Keep Up with Demand
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IMTSTV spoke with Mike Warner, Customer Leader for Airplane Development Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, about the state of the industry at the Global Forecasting & Marketing Conference – and we heard good and bad news.
The demand for new planes is high, about 1,000 planes per year, especially in China, India and Southeast Asia; however, over 5,000 planes are backlogged. This means that customers have a long wait before they can offer passengers some upgraded features and perhaps even enhanced comfort.
Boeing is working with suppliers to not only increase output, but to develop technology that lowers costs in a thin-margin industry. Fuel efficiency is one of the biggest concerns as it is nearly 50% of operating costs. New planes will have enhanced aerodynamics, lightweight materials and more fuel-efficient engines to help reduce the price.
In terms of passenger comfort, Warner says small changes will make a big difference. Airlines will always request as many seats as possible, although the placement of the seats may help improve personal space concerns. But there have been other changes due to better technology, such as bigger windows and storage bins and more realistic cabin pressure and humidity that passengers can expect in the near future.