Boeing eyes new partnerships

Sat Nov 7, 2015 12:48pm EST
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DUBAI (Reuters) - Boeing (BA.N: Quote) expects to announce new industrial partnerships with an emphasis on defense at the Dubai Airshow, expanding on tie-ups in commercial aerospace, executives said on Saturday.

The U.S. planemaker signed a strategic agreement with Abu Dhabi state-owned investment fund Mubadala in 2009 and boosted it with a $2.5 billion composites production deal in 2013.

It has a similar strategic deal in place with India's Tata Sons.

Gulf-based sources have told Reuters they expect Boeing to expand its ties with both companies at the Nov 8-12 air show.

"There will be a couple of announcements at the show related to increased partnerships and I'll leave it at that," Bernard Dunn, president of Boeing Middle East, North Africa and Turkey told a news conference, declining to elaborate.

Boeing predicts strong demand for commercial jets in the Middle East despite a slowdown expected at this year's air show, following record orders at the last edition in 2013.

It expects the Middle East to require 3,180 new airplanes worth $730 billion over 20 years, about a third of which are already in the order books of Boeing and Airbus.

While production of some large jets is slowing, Boeing sees room to increase single-aisle jet production after Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) recently announced a 20-percent increase in A320 production to 60 aircraft a month from 2019.

Boeing currently plans to raise output of its 737 model to 47 a month in 2017 and then 52 a month in 2018, compared with 42 now.   Continued...

The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young