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Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Boeing: From biplanes to space craft
V-22 Osprey plane
The world's leader in developing military aircraft
Boeing has just announced thousands of job cuts as it struggles to reduce output after airlines cancelled orders for its planes. BBC News Online profiles the world's biggest aerospace company.

The Boeing Company is the largest aerospace company in the world, and the leader in manufacturing both commercial jetliners and military aircraft.

It has grown to become the US's most powerful exporter, from its humble beginnings building the earliest biplanes in a shed.

Boeing's first factory
Humble beginnings
Last year, it had revenues of more than $51bn (34.8bn; 55bn euros).

The company has more than 11,000 commercial jetliners in service worldwide - including its 737, 747, 757 and 767 fleets.

Boeing is also a world leader in development and production of military and defence products and programmes.

And it has led the world in human space flight, building the Apollo vehicles and the Space Shuttle fleet.

Financial strength

The company reported profits of $804m in the second quarter of 2001, and revenues of $15.4bn.

Phil Condit, Boeing Chairman
The man at the helm today

Of this revenue, $9.3bn was generated from the commercial airline sector and $3.3bn from military and missiles divisions.

The company's financial outlook depends heavily on the strength of its order book.

During the second quarter of the year, Boeing delivered 141 commercial aircraft.

But since the terrorist attacks last week, Boeing has said that jet deliveries could fall to 500 this year from a forecast 538 and, next year, to the low 400s, compared with an earlier forecast of 510-20.

Mr Boeing himself

A 60-year-old Californian, Phil Condit, is the man at the helm of the aerospace giant, having started as an aerodynamics engineer for Boeing more than 35 years ago.

William E Boeing
William Boeing founded the firm in 1910

The company was founded by William Boeing in 1910, growing a tiny aeroplane manufacturing unit into an aerospace giant, and living long enough to see the company enter the jet age.

Historically headquartered in Seattle, Washington, headquarters are now being transferred to Chicago.

Before the 30,000 job cuts announced on 19 September, Boeing employed 199,000 people in more than 60 countries.

And the company has an impressive global reach, claiming customers in 145 states.

Company structure

Boeing is organized into six major units:

  • Commercial Airplanes.

  • Space and Communications.

  • Military Aircraft and Missiles.

  • Shared Services (Computing resources, telecommunications, e-commerce, security, and transportation).

  • Air Traffic Management.

  • Boeing Capital Corporation (providing financing and leasing solutions to industries worldwide).

  • See also:

    19 Jun 01 | Business
    Boeing bows to Airbus
    20 Apr 01 | Business
    Boeing's profits soar 112%
    31 Oct 00 | World
    Boeing's workhorse
    19 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
    Boeing's best-seller
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