Boeing President: 'Not anticipating any more 777 orders'
American aircraft manufacturer Boeing kicked off the Dubai Air Show on Sunday by announcing 259 orders for its new 777X, totaling over $95 billion at list prices, but Shephard W. Hill, the president of Boeing International told CNBC he did not anticipate further order announcements at the event.
"It's great day, a historic day for Boeing and for aviation in my view." Hill told CNBC
"Not anticipating any more orders but let's see how the rest of the week pans out."
The three major Gulf carriers - Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways - and German airline Lufthansa all placed orders for Boeing's new 777X aircraft, representing the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by dollar value. Lufthansa ordered 34; Etihad chose 25; Qatar ordered 50, while Emirates placed a bid for 150 777X aircraft.
Hill added that he's confident that these orders can be sustained and there won't be any reversals. In terms of demand, Hill said that the Middle East was "very, very high" compared to other regions, with Asia, Europe and the United States also seeing growth.
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"The middle class is growing...there's demand everywhere for aviation quite frankly," he said
Sunday's high-profile orders may have brought cheer to Boeing executives but it has been a difficult year for the aircraft manufacturer with ongoing problems with its Dreamliner 787 model. In January, Boeing's entire 787 fleet was grounded following a series of overheating batteries. It wasn't until April, by which time Boeing had spent millions on fixing the problem, that regulators allowed the company to continue selling and flying the aircraft.
Hill told CNBC that the 787 is "not a weak spot", and the group is focused on reliability.
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