KEARNEY COLUMN: Boeing and Air India intrigue
Late last month, the historic plane turned the corner in the North Charleston final assembly building, where it will undergo interiors installation and production testing.
Last week, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh said it would roll out in mid-April and fly away in June.
Meanwhile, there have been reports almost every day about the troubled airline's financial straits and various negotiations to make its Boeing plane orders work.Since last fall, there has been talk of Air India taking fewer than the 27 Dreamliners it reserved, getting them via a sale-leaseback, or leasing them out.
Last month, Air India was said to be seeking $1 billion in compensation payments from Boeing for the more than three-year delivery delay. And last week, it was reported Boeing had agreed to pay half that demand, an assertion Albaugh denied.
"I think if we'd settled for $500 million, somebody would've told me," he said. "... We don't comment on deals that we've done, but I can tell you we're not writing anybody a check for $500 million."
But Albaugh has a way of feigning ignorance, like last fall, when just hours before Boeing's grand bargain with its main union was announced, he implied the labor situation and the placement of 737 MAX production line were open questions.
So the Indian and Air India flags are flying at the South Aviation Avenue delivery center, but whether everything goes according to plan remains to be seen.
Reach Brendan Kearney at 937-5906 and follow him at twitter.com/kearney_brendan.