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Boeing Faces Weak Orders on Sonic Cruiser

July 22, 2002|Bloomberg News

Boeing Co.'s planned "sonic cruiser" high-speed plane, aimed at travelers willing to pay a premium for quick flights, isn't winning orders from the world's biggest carriers, which face passengers seeking deeply discounted fares, Business Week said.

Executives at carriers including AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc., UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, British Airways and Japan Airlines Co. all have said they don't plan on buying the new plane.

The anticipated weak orders have left Boeing, the world's biggest plane maker, undecided how to press ahead with the plan, Business Week said. Engineers are considering two designs for the plane that include a conventional jetliner, which is more fuel-efficient and cheaper to build than a 767. The other design includes a flying wing shaped like the B-2 bomber, Business Week said.

Boeing says it can make the conventional 250-seat jet up to 30% more efficient to operate and cheaper to buy than today's airplanes, which would be an advantage for cash-conscious airlines.

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