Boeing’s Tinseth Says Planemakers Differ in Approach to China

Randy Tinseth, Boeing Co.’s vice president of marketing, comments on the company’s strategy in China, delivery of the 787 aircraft and demand in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific islands.

The Oceania region will need 920 new airplanes worth $120 billion during the next 20 years, according to a Boeing forecast released today. Airbus SAS is in talks with Chinese authorities and companies for an order for 150 planes worth $16 billion at catalogue prices, French newspaper La Tribune said, citing unidentified people.

Tinseth spoke in a telephone interview from Sydney today.

On the Chinese aviation market:

“We’ve got a really strong tie with the Chinese, and we have sold a number of airplanes already this year in China. We’ve taken a little different approach in China than maybe our competitor has. We are focusing on ensuring that we go directly to the airlines and sell those airplanes to the airlines and then work through the government approval process. Our competition does it in reverse, they focus on the government first, then try to trickle those planes down into the airlines. They are looking for big orders at the government level while we are focused on individual orders with customers and getting approvals at a later stage.”

On the 787:

“It’s never a good thing to disappoint your customers but our focus is on ensuring that we get this airplane right and that we take the time to get it right and that we deliver it meeting our customer’s expectations. Each day goes by, we accumulate more flight hours on the program, we retire more of the technical risk. The plane that delivers in the first quarter of 2011 will be an airplane that will help change this industry.”

On demand from Oceania:

“It’s a region that has fared well in the worldwide economic downturn. This market is characterized by intense competition. Australia is one of those markets where we see low- cost carriers offer about half the capacity in the market, and that is only done in a handful of markets around the world like India, Malaysia and the Philippines.