(Jan. 14, 2005) -- Boeing will be ending production of its 717 aircraft at LB in 2006.
In a written release issued before dawn CA time today (Jan. 14), Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Alan Mulally said:
"The 717 brings tremendous value to the airlines that operate it. Unfortunately, the overall market for the airplane does not support continuing 717 production beyond delivering on our current commitments. We extend our appreciation and gratitude to all our employees, customers and partners who worked so well together on the 717. The moving production line pioneered on this airplane will be a lasting legacy across our current and future airplane programs."
He added, "As with all Boeing airplanes, we will continue to provide exceptional customer support for 717s in service for many years to come. And Boeing will continue to compete aggressively with our popular 737 Next Generation family of airplanes, which serves the 100- to 215-seat market."
Two city officials told LBReport.com of the coming announcement last night.
The 717, assembled on a moving line at LB's Boeing plant, was designed the short-haul, high-frequency 100-passenger airline market. The 717-200 was designated the Boeing 717 following the merger of McDonnell Douglas and The Boeing Company in 1997.
Boeing.com said the plane entered flight-testing in September 1998 and received joint certification a year later.
AirTran Airways of Orlando, Fla., took delivery of the first 717 in September 1999. In addition to AirTran, other worldwide customers include Aerolineas Baleares, Bavaria International Aircraft Leasing Co., Hawaiian Airlines, Pembroke Capital Leasing Ltd., Turkmenistan Airlines, and TWA (American Airlines). Operators via lease include Bangkok Airways, QantasLink (Impulse Airlines), and Olympic Aviation.
Official word came in a financial release that indicated that the company plans to recognize a pre-tax charge of approximately $340 million ($0.27 per share) "attributable to a decision to conclude production of the 717 commercial airplane in 2006 and includes expected supplier termination charges."
Further to follow.