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A model of the Boeing 777-9X is displayed during the Dubai Airshow on November 17, 2013 in Dubai, UAE. Etihad Airways ordered 87 Airbus planes, including 50 extra-wide-body A350 XWBs, valued at around $19 billion (14 billion euros) at list prices. 

South Carolina is sweetening the pot in an effort to grab more of Boeing’s manufacturing operations. The state this week will sell $85 million in bonds, part of which will pay for land used by the aerospace giant. State officials also hope to send the message that South Carolina is ready to build the company’s new 777X.

But so are Texas, Alabama, California, Kansas, and Utah. In all, 15 sites are courting Boeing’s newest offering. For most, that means tailoring a package touting a brand new facility and workforce to build the brand new plane. 

Not smart, says aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia, adding, “If there’s one absolute no-no on this project, it’s [to build] a completely ‘Green Field’ facility.”

Boeing learned that lesson after choosing South Carolina to build the troubled 787. Most early kinks are now worked out, and compared to Washington state, where Boeing has traditionally been based, South Carolina offers looser regulation, workers generally earn lower wages, and the facility is non-union.

But Seattle’s highly-skilled workforce and the state of Washington’s generous incentives give it an edge, says Seattle-based aviation consultant Scott Hamilton. “It’s the best business choice,” he says, but adds he doesn’t know how much weight such logic will carry with Boeing CEO Jim McNerney.   

After the International Association of Machinists union recently voted down Boeing’s contract offer, which would have guaranteed 777X production stay in Seattle, McNerney wasted no time in entertaining other states’ offers. Consultant Scott Hamilton says if Seattle loses the 777X, it will likely accelerate the decline of Boeing’s presence there.  

States Battle for Boeing Biz FINAL

Jim Burress

 For MMR: 11/26/13

 

South Carolina is sweetening the pot [today] in an effort to grab more of Boeing’s manufacturing operations. 

 

The state will sell $85-million in bonds… part of which will pay for land used by the aerospace giant.

 

As Jim Burress tells us, the state hopes to lure Boeing’s next big model—the 7-77-“X” away from Seattle.

 

 

 

 

Burress 1:  So do Texas. Alabama. California. Kansas. .… 15 sites are courting Boeing.

 

Many are pitching a brand new factory and workforce to build the brand new plane.

 

Not smart, says aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia.  (Ah-boo-laff-ee-uh)

 

ACT 1 :“If there’s one absolute no-no on this project, it’s a completely “Green Field” facility.”

 

Burress 2: Boeing learned that  lesson after choosing South Carolina to build the troubled 7-87.

 

Those kinks are mostly worked out,. And  compared to Washington, South Carolina offers looser regulation, lower wages, and no union.  

 

But aviation consultant Scott Hamilton says Seattle’s highly-skilled workforce and the state’s  generous incentives give it an edge.

 

ACT 2: “It’s the best business choice. I don’t know how likely it is given the antipathy Jim McNerney has for the union.”

 

Burress 3:  The Boeing CEO wasted no time reaching out to other states after the  machinist union recently voted down Boeing’s contract offer. Which would’ve guaranteed the 7-77x stay in Washington.  

 

I’m Jim Burress for Marketplace

About the author

Jim Burress is a reporter for WABE in Atlanta.

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