The Boeing Company yesterday delivered its 550th jetliner of 1998, a record for the new Boeing Company which sets the stage for even higher production in 1999. More than a year ago, the company said it expected to deliver 550 jetliners to customers worldwide in 1998.
"We did it!" said Commercial Airplanes President Alan Mulally as he congratulated co-workers at the Delivery Center in Seattle. "This is a great accomplishment. A company is a lot of things, but above all else, a company is people. It takes smart, hard-working, dedicated people - working together as a team - to meet our commitments and give our customers the products and services they want at the time they want them."
Demand from customers, driven by past market growth and replacement, will provide Boeing the opportunity to deliver about 620 jetliners in the coming year.
Mulally told employees at the Boeing Field Delivery Center that the challenge of delivering 620 airplanes next year will require an equal commitment from every member of the Boeing team. Mulally pointed out that "not only did we deliver 550 airplanes, but we are regaining the health and efficiency of our airplane production system." He noted that during the 1997 holidays, between 12,000 to 15,000 employees, or as much as 13 percent of the workforce, worked each day to meet Boeing Company commitments to customers. "This year, that number is down to about 3.5 percent of the workforce - much closer to our normal rate of about 3 percent," Mulally said. In Renton, that is about 350 workers; Auburn has approximately 800 on duty; Long Beach and its Canadian division have approximately 1,000 on duty, as do Wichita and Everett.
"This is a clear sign of improvement for Commercial Airplanes. It's good to go into the New Year with this kind of momentum," Mulally said. "Again, thank you and congratulations."