Boeing Ends Century with GECAS Order and New Delivery Record

Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group President Alan Mulally today confirmed that GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has placed an order for 20 airplanes with an estimated value of $2.6 billion. GECAS, a unit of GE Capital Services, will begin taking delivery of the airplanes in fourth quarter of 2000.

The announcement includes orders for 15 767-300ERs (extended range) and five 747-400 Freighters. GECAS has the option of substituting the newest Boeing 767 derivative, the 767-400ER jetliner, for 767-300ERs. Today's announcement brings GECAS orders for Boeing jetliners to 160. GECAS owns or manages a fleet of 850 airplanes, providing a full range of aircraft financing products and services to 175 airline companies in more than 60 countries. With 898 orders placed by 63 customers, the 767 is the most widely used airplane over the North Atlantic and has reshaped the industry by increasing point-to-point service.

"We are delighted to place our second order for 767s," said Henry Hubschman, president of GECAS. "These airplanes will join the 19 767s we previously ordered. We are highly confident that, with the anticipated need for additional cargo lift in 2000 and 2001, we will very shortly conclude arrangements to lease these 747-400 Freighters. In each case, we have chosen the CF6-80 C2 engine, the best in class."

After making the announcement, Mulally visited Boeing employees at the company's Everett, Wash., flight line to acknowledge their role in setting a new world record for commercial airplane deliveries by a single company.

"This is just an amazing feat," Mulally said. "The number of airplanes is significant by itself. But when you consider the fact that we did it while we were improving the health of our production system and the way we build planes, it's an even more important accomplishment."

Boeing is on track to end this year with deliveries expected to be in the range of 620 jetliners - surpassing last year's record of 563 deliveries. This means that Boeing jetliners will account for about two-thirds of all new airplanes of 100 or more seats added to the world fleet in 1999.

Since 1995, when the latest cycle of orders and deliveries began, customers have placed orders for more than 2,500 Boeing jetliners. In the same five-year period, Boeing delivered more than 2,000 planes to customers - nearly the same number as its chief competitor, Airbus Industrie, has delivered during its entire 30-year history.

Boeing also announced that today, it will adopt an industry-wide practice and begin counting all orders -- including those placed by customers who wish to remain unidentified. As a result of this change, Boeing added orders for 163, bringing 1999 totals to 368.

In the last 12 months, Boeing also has enjoyed a range of solid successes including the beginning of growth into promising new areas.

  • Commercial Aviation Services. Boeing announced an innovative agreement to purchase 44 in-service Boeing 757 passenger jets, convert them to Special Freighters, lease them to cargo carrier DHL and provide maintenance and engineering services for the airplanes. Boeing and Sony also joined forces to install the Sony P@ssport In-Flight Entertainment system on in-service 747s. In other groundbreaking events, Boeing and British Airways launched the Global Airline Inventory Network, a new supply chain service. Boeing also acquired the Preston Group, a software company specializing in air traffic and airport management. The Boeing Rapid Response Center began full operation in July, providing operators an unprecedented level of technical assistance around the clock.
  • Boeing 717. The star of the Paris Air Show, the first Boeing 717-200 was certified jointly by the FAA and JAA in September and entered service with AirTran Airways. The only true, 100-seat regional airplane, the 717 brings big-jet comfort, low operating costs, reliability and superior technology to growing regional markets.
  • Boeing 737. The Next-Generation 737 family completed its first year of service in 1999, and has flown more than 500,000 hours. With a new wing, flight deck, engines and a new, more spacious interior, the Next-Generation 737 is the fastest-selling - and fastest-delivering new airplane program in history. Boeing has rolled out 400 Next-Generation airplanes in under three years - an industry record. Customers appreciate the Next-Generation 737's low operating costs, range flexibility and an unmatched reliability rate. Passengers appreciate its new, more spacious interior, and comfortable seats that are wider than those on earlier 737s.
  • Boeing 747. A major investment in the Boeing 747 resulted in the digitizing of 747-400 fuselage drawings and new, precision tooling that improves current production and can accommodate larger, future versions of the 747. Deliveries of the 747-400 Freighter set a new record, with 12 rolling out the door of the world's largest building. In November, the world's most recognized airplane was honored by the U.S. Postal Service, which selected the Boeing 747 as one of the greatest aviation achievements of all time.
  • Boeing 757. Certified in January, the new, 243-passenger 757-300 entered service with German launch customer Condor Flugdienst and quickly established a new record for reliability and economy. The Boeing 757-300 also features an all-new, spacious interior, and allows quick turnaround.
  • Boeing 767. The Boeing 767-400ER - the first new jetliner that will enter service in the 21st century - made its first flight in October, and was described by one of its test pilots as "like flying on the wings of an angel." The 767-400ER delivers unmatched comfort compared with its competition; a new, spacious, interior; and economic efficiency.
  • Boeing 777. Deliveries of the world's most passenger-preferred jetliner surpassed 250 during 1999 - just four years after the Boeing 777 began carrying passengers in comfort to distant destinations. The 777 enjoys unequaled passenger appeal. Results of a multi-airline survey released at the Paris Air Show revealed that three out of four passengers who fly on both the 777 and competing products prefer the 777.
  • Boeing Business Jets. The success of the Boeing Business Jet led to the launch of the BBJ 2 - an even roomier version that will be based on the 737-800. The year also marked the first delivery of a completely furnished BBJ.
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Randy Harrison
Fernando Vivanco