Dreamliner’s efficiency making new world connections

Boeing Co.'s Dreamliner twin-aisle airplane, made at the company's plant in North Charleston, is making nonstop flights possible between new city pairs.

In addition to generating record sales for Boeing Co., the Dreamliner twin-aisle airplane that’s made at the company’s North Charleston plant is helping to bring the world a little closer.

Jim McNerney, Boeing’s chairman and chief executive, told analysts during a teleconference last week that the Dreamliner’s fuel efficiency is making it possible for airlines to fly between cities that never were previously considered.

“The thing that is often left unnoticed here is that this grows the market,” McNerney said of the popular 787 airplane, which is made of lightweight carbon composite materials. “This airplane enables wide-body or any kind of body, quite frankly, city pairs that have never been enabled before.”

McNerney said about 20 percent of demand for the Dreamliner is being driven by the ability to open new direct-flight markets.

Among the flights never before possible, according to Bloomberg News: British Airways’ route from London to Austin, Texas; Norwegian Air Shuttle’s Stockholm-to-Los Angeles and Oslo-to-Oakland, Calif., routes; and Japan Airlines’ flights from Tokyo to Boston.

Chicago-based Boeing delivered 228 Dreamliners to 29 customers through the end of 2014, and the company expects to bring another 120 of them to customers this year. The 787 — also made at Boeing’s Everett, Wash., plant – is Boeing’s newest and fastest-selling plane.

Boeing workers in North Charleston pulled the local factory’s first 787-9 from the hangar last week. It will be delivered to United Airlines.

There’s no rub in making it onto this list. Or is there?

Kiawah Island recently won top honors from online real estate reviewer Real Estate Scorecard among its Top 10 spa resorts within master-planned communities in the Southeast and Central America.

“Known as one of the top South Carolina destinations in the Lowcountry, Kiawah Island is often referred to as the ‘Hamptons of the South,’ ” says Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Real Estate Scorecard, which also plugged the Sasanqua Spa at Kiawah Island Club.

Prospective farmers can plow new ground through an apprentice program being offered in a partnership between Lowcountry Local First and the College of Charleston Center for Continuing & Professional Education.

A new noncredit Certificate of Sustainable Agriculture will be offered to participants of Growing New Farmers. The five-month program provides introductory agricultural production and business education as well as hands-on training in the field.

“The average age of a South Carolina farmer today is 59 years old,” said Jamee Haley, executive director of Lowcountry Local First. “Creating the next generation of farmers is critical for a healthy local food system.”

Applications are being accepted through March 13. The $2,000 program begins in May. Scholarships and payment plans are available.

While the Super Bowl may be over, there’s still something to look forward to on Sundays in February.

Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum is offering 20 percent discounts on tickets and 10 percent off purchases in the gift shop every Sunday this month for its new “Super Sunday” promotion.

Typical admission rates are $20 for adults and $12 for children ages 6-11. The “Super Sunday” discount will include admission to all three of Patriots Point’s historic warships, the Medal of Honor Museum, and the recently opened Vietnam Experience.

The attraction hasn’t offered this sort of promotion before, but museum officials have said they’re always looking for ways to boost sales in colder months.

Also this month, Patriots Point is revving up its weekly “Open Cockpit Sunday” series Feb. 15, when guests are allowed to climb into the cockpit in some of the museum’s most historic aircrafts in the new interactive Vietnam Experience Exhibit.

“Since ‘Open Cockpit’ Sundays are such a hit, we thought it would be perfect to offer the first in 2015 on a ‘Super Sunday’,” said Mac Burdette, executive director of the museum.

The InterTech Group isn’t cutting the cord entirely, but it is trimming its holdings in a small publicly traded Virginia company that manufactures fiber-optic and copper cables.

The North Charleston-based conglomerate disclosed last week it sold 33,500 shares of Optical Cable Corp. in a series of transactions since early December for a total of about $167,000, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The sales, combined with the fact that InterTech’s stake got watered down when Optical Cable issued more shares, took its holdings under the 5 percent threshold. That means it no longer has to report how much stock it owns to the SEC.

Privately held InterTech invested in Optical Cable through a trust controlled by CEO Anita Zucker in 2013. At that time, it paid $1.33 million for 321,453 shares. The trust reported that it now owns 251,500 shares, or 3.7 percent.

Roanoke-based Optical Cable makes fiber-optic and copper cable products with uses ranging from homes to data centers.