Monday, October 14, 2013

Boeing's Perfect Storm Sunk A JAL Deal

After taking a break during and after the JAL deal where it bought 31  A-350's. The shock of sinking has washed ashore. Boeing has done its damage control and is picking up the pieces from that announcement.  It is an announcement with years in the making. Japan Airlines a stalwart partner with Boeing for over 50 years abandon ship in the perfect storm. Like the movie of the same name type, "Perfect Storm", Boeing floundered the order dumping stars of its cast into the Japan seas. They all drown!  Now I have rested, and recovered from the epic tale of the sunk 787.  The story started a long time ago and was being chipped away, against its hull since the 2007 roll-out ceremony.

It starts with a customer who bet billions on sleepless nights, and anxious days over the Dream-liner. Japan Airlines has no more stomach for rolling headlines and giant rogue waves of publicity.

Three  Storm Fronts Collide Into The Perfect Airbus Order:

  • Five year delays the storm front
  • Glitches, Battery and grounding slams another storm front
  • 777-X aannouncement delay, places Japan out of that initial order line
Japan will not repeat another sinking feeling with Boeing's perfect storm sequence that engaged in the  787 project. They went to a "safe harbour", and now sit at the local Airbus Pub, sipping beer with Airbus. They are planning the next fishing trip. Too many sad stories with the 787 recalled while Airbus ordered another pitcher of beer from its bar.  You could hear a bleating waltz in the background.

Like all great stories true or fiction there are upswings and low points. Airbus caught JAL at a low point with its resolve in Boeing, and then got off the hook letting Boeing go and sink away. That is a common thought. Like all inspired stories that are true, there is a stunning turn no one can imagine. Did JAL make a mistake? Or did Boeing fail in its all new airplane? The answer will be played out during the next two years for certainty sake.  Like all airplane soap operas, there was a building separation between the partners. A growing mistrust that the relationship was not a good relationship after all. Maybe JAL should date other people in a trial, and find out if Boeing is the answer. Boeing kept bringing the candy and flowers to JAL's door step. Maybe JAL felt that Boeing was creeping them out in stock-er fashion, and was too nervous to go all the way with Boeing only to sneak out of it, by dumping Boeing when Boeing was having a good year!  Anyway the soap opera story is a captivating story. A person would enjoy a Laundry detergent commercial break for a kitchen resupply or take five for to maintain bodily functions during the commercial break. Silly as this seems, Boeing has been served by JAL in the Airbus affair. Jilted and shocked, this does convert into the typical reactions of a blown love affair over another suitor.

Boeing's emotions are secretly held. It will hold its head high and will comeback as many love affairs do in the movies, where the dropped partner shows up  making  a scene of how good or how worthy they are by some demonstration of valor or excellence. JAL may or may not respond. The November Airshow in Dubai is that event with all the marbles on the table with the 777--X announcements, which may explain why JAL is dating Airbus. The are angry they didn't get a invited to the 777-X Ball in Dubai and are snarling off with Airbus showing Boeing up a little (alot). After-all they were five years late showing up at JAL's house and spilled glitches all over JAL's outfit in a drunken, stumbling roll-out. Not only that, Boeing kept making promises all night long that it couldn't keep. Boeing made a fool of itself with JAL and now this smooth guy from Europe, we all love to hate, has come in with 31 roses and a delivery promise it can keep, because of the lower technology road it choose to take. The high technology road that Boeing took failed, regarding the mishaps and poor development strategy with the world suppliers were unable to deliver. Irony is that Japan's manufacturing delivered. Glitching was not a Japan embarrassment for being late on the date.

What is Boeing going to do to win back its first love in Japan? That is the next episode in this soap opera. Since I write script I will offer a draft script for this story. Whether Boeing will buy it or not, that is its decision. But writing is all I have for Boeing at this time. The scene opens up in Dubai with the Airlines of the world looking on. JAL is in the audience. Boeing stands up to the micro-phone and announces a new programme of reformation and quality. The 777-X character reformation is complete. Boeing is better and promises to never make those mistakes from lessons learned again. The crowd applauds. Boeing is really a good guy that had a rough spell. All manufacturers have its moments. Boeing's moment is of great advancement.  They are sorry for any inconvenience it has caused. However, this is about this new guy attending the airshow. A wink and smile is given towards the JAL booth as Boeing pats its heart. Orders are up next. Boeing has its dance card attached to its wrist as the Ball begins. In Victorian fashion, Boeing dance card has Qatar, Etihad, and Emirates with several more names listed on the card. (camera Close up , No JAL).

Boeing has a slight smile while thinking it took only 31 roses to win over Japan Airlines, when I'm now holding about 150 in one great bunch with the 777-X. Boeing is still sad, knowing how great that relationship has been and still could be.

The next episode will not be revenge or reconciliation, but it starts out as hope towards rebuilding the friendship. Boeing will be more careful on how it brags about its technological reality. It really can do what it promises, but is not in a smooth manner, and has worked on its social skills with being a smooth listener. Boeing may rope the horse with a finer rope, but often misses its target. Airbus stands closer and places the rougher ropes on the horses neck and rubs it while whipering in the ear. What Airbus whispered is what Boeing needs to improve on more than just technology, it needs to improve its catsing of its opening line.