April 30 Demand for Boeing Co's new
commercial airplanes is growing, even as the U.S. plane maker
faces ongoing challenges in defense spending, Chief Executive
Jim McNerney told shareholders on Monday.
The company had anticipated the defense downturn for several
years, he said at a shareholders meeting in Chicago. In
preparation for cutbacks in U.S. government spending, defense
companies have cut jobs, shed non-strategic units and are making
acquisitions in niche growth areas.
Boeing, the world's largest aerospace and defense company,
is ramping up production of commercial airplanes to meet
increased demand from airlines while it faces pressure from
Boeing's commercial orders have grown rapidly this year,
while production has accelerated on all its commercial planes
including the 787 Dreamliner. The new lightweight
carbon-composite airplane came to market in 2011 after three
years of delays.
Boeing also hopes to win orders for its upcoming 737 MAX,
with a new, fuel-efficient engine, that will compete with
Airbus' upcoming A320neo.
Boeing last week turned in a stronger-than-expected
quarterly profit. [ID: nL2E8FP1QO]
Shares of Boeing, which have risen about 4 percent so far
this year, were down 1.3 percent at $76.23 at mid-afternoon.