Boeing 787: A Paradigm Shift or Just a Nice Airplane?
CHICAGO -- (TheStreet) -- A year after it entered commercial service, the Boeing (BA) 787 is starting to fulfill its promise, but some question just how much promise it has.
Of course, carriers that fly the aircraft, including United (UAL) , which flew its first 787 flight on Sunday, are pleased. In fact, Gerry Laderman, United senior vice president, said investors in the equipment trust certificates issued to finance aircraft purchases have been willing to accept lower interest rates when 787s serve as collateral.
Additionally, "We have a competitive advantage being the first in North America" to fly the 787, Laderman said Sunday, in an interview aboard the inaugural intra-U.S. flight. "American (AAMRQ.PK) is three years behind us, at least." He said passengers making connections to international flights are likely to seek out the 787.
But stock market investors do not seem overly excited. Analysts estimate that Boeing will have to sell 1,100 jets before it makes a profit, and aviation consultant Richard Aboulafia maintained that while the 787 is a nice airplane it is hardly transformational despite all of the hoopla that surrounds it.