Boeing on Monday formally launched its 7E7 aircraft program after receiving a record US$6 billion order from All Nippon Airways for the super-efficient "Dreamliner." \nThe aircraft is seen as vital to the US aerospace giant if it is to regain its spot as the world's No. 1 manufacturer, a position it lost last year to Europe's Airbus. \nBoeing's board had given preliminary approval in December with production depending on the first firm order, announced Monday by All Nippon Airways (ANA), which ordered 50 of the aircraft. \nThe order, worth about US$6 billion at list prices, was the biggest ever for a new Boeing aircraft, the company said in a statement, adding that there were about a dozen potential clients. \n"Airline interest in the 7E7 has been extraordinary. The size and speed of this order validates our view of the market and demonstrates the tremendous demand for the performance and value provided by the 7E7," said president and chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airlines Alan Mulally. \n"We expect additional orders in the coming weeks and months," he added. \nThe midsize jet, nicknamed the Dreamliner, is described as being 20 percent more fuel-efficient than comparable aircraft in its class, with the long-haul range of a larger aircraft, capable of flying 14,500km to 15,400km nonstop. \nAviation experts had been expecting the first order from a Japanese airline because about a third of the new jets will be made in Japan. \nThe airplane's first flight is scheduled for 2007 and ANA is to begin taking deliveries in 2008. \nBoeing vice president Mike Bair said he expected orders coming from Europe and elsewhere in the near future. \n"I think you can clearly expect something to come out of Europe this year, and it is also true in the United States and elsewhere in the world [including] the Middle East," he told reporters, adding that orders could come from China as well "in a relatively near term." \nBoeing is forecasting that demand for the jet, which is designed to replace the DC-10, B-757, and B-767, will run about 2,000-3,000 units over the next 20 years. \nMuch is riding on a successful launch of the aircraft, which will be the US aircraft-maker's first all new commercial jet for more than a decade, after the 777. \nThe aerospace giant, rocked by scandals related to defense contracts, which led to the resignation in November of longtime chief executive Phil Condit, is banking on the Dreamliner to revitalize its core aircraft-making business which has been battered by the slump in air travel. \nOn top of that, it has been steadily losing market share to European rival Airbus, which will soon be competing head-to-head with Boeing in the jumbo airliner range with the launch of its A380 scheduled to enter service in 2006.
BUSY DAY: The same day the USS ‘Barry’ passed through the Strait, Taiwan was ending its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it conducted an exercise near Taiwan A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.” “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.” The Ministry
BIOLOGICAL AGENT: A containment exercise was held in southern Tainan, in response to a mock assault where troops were assumed to be attacked by bioweapons The live-fire component of this year’s annual Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan’s major war games involving all military branches, began yesterday morning and is to run until Friday to test the armed forces’ capability to fend off a Chinese invasion. The 37th edition of the annual event officially began after the Ministry of National Defense’s Joint Operations Command Center, also known as the Hengshan Command Center, announced the initiation of the five-day live-fire drills. Yesterday’s drills were focused on testing the military’s preservation and maintenance of combat capabilities in the event of a full-scale Chinese invasion. As part of the drills, air force
WELCOME BACK: Foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese can now directly apply for a visa with representative offices overseas, the CECC said Regulations on applications for entry to the nation by foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese have been relaxed effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported two new local and three imported cases of COVID-19. Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the center, said the relaxation meant that such applications would be treated as general cases, instead of special ones that are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. “Considering the recent local COVID-19 situation and the needs of foreign spouses and children to visit their family in Taiwan, we are allowing Taiwan’s
PINGTUNG EXERCISE: The pilots tested their ability to land on the 24m-wide provincial highway, preparing for a scenario in which dedicated airstrips are damaged Emergency landing and takeoff drills for military aircraft were held on a provincial highway for the first time early yesterday as part of Taiwan’s Han Kuang military exercises, testing the ability of pilots and aircraft to land on narrow roads were airstrips to be damaged. The drill began at 6:30am on a 2.26km section of Provincial Highway No. 1 linking Pingtung County’s Jiadong (佳冬) and Fangliao (枋寮) townships. An Indigenous Defense Fighter, an F-16V, a Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K early warning aircraft participated. The planes landed on the highway in that order at 6:30am, 6:32am, 6:34am and 6:36am before taking off at