With apologies to Mark Twain: Reports of American manufacturing’s death have been greatly exaggerated. The premature nature of such obituaries was happily confirmed anew Thursday as Boeing emerged as the big sales winner at the Farnborough (England) Air Show.
That victory is a particular source of pride in our community and state. Boeing opened a 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in North Charleston a year ago.
And a 787 made a dramatic entrance at Farnborough. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al Baker, showing off his company’s first Dreamliner after it flew in from Seattle, hailed the plane for its “new benchmarks in comfort and space.”
Though that Dreamliner wasn’t made here, in April the North Charleston plant rolled out its first 787, which is now the property of Air India.
And as The Associated Press reported on Thursday: “Boeing said it took total orders and commitments over the past week for 396 airplanes, valued at around $37 billion. That is more than double Airbus’ performance of $16.9 billion in orders and commitments for a total of 115 aircraft.”
While those full-list values are bound to decline as both companies customarily cut prices as orders are filled, Boeing’s victory, largely based on sales of the 737 MAX, is a welcome reversal of last year’s outcome, when Airbus came out on top.
So good for Boeing.
And good for U.S. — and S.C. — manufacturing.