©The Boeing Company
©The Boeing Company

Boeing to 'double UK supply chain footprint'

13 July 2016

Boeing plans to double its supply chain footprint in the UK as part of a joint initiative with the UK government.

The American aerospace company also said it wanted to create 2,000 more jobs in the UK. 

The vote of confidence coincided with negative comments from a senior Airbus executive, who warned if the Brexit terms were unfavourable their latest generation of airplanes might not be built in the UK.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg announced the investment at the annual Farnborough Airshow alongside David Cameron, UK prime minister at the time.

Boeing plans to increase the number of opportunities for UK companies to bid on its contracts and said it would work with the government to make UK suppliers more competitive.

“The aim of the initiative is to create the opportunity for UK companies to double their supply work with Boeing and to win higher proportions of content on future Boeing aircraft,” Boeing said in a statement. 

Boeing also said it would make the UK its defence training, maintenance and repair base in Europe, as well as make the UK its defence export base for Europe and the Middle East.

The company claims to have doubled the number of its UK employees to over 2,000, and doubled its spending in UK supply chains to £1.8bn over the last five years.

“I’m delighted that we can announce today a long term strategic initiative with Boeing that will create thousands of jobs, secure investment in R&D and create opportunities for the supply chain,” said Cameron.

He added: “This long term commitment shows the UK is open for business and attractive for investment.”

Meanwhile, Tom Williams, chief operating officer of Airbus, warned Airbus could move its wing manufacturing out of the UK if the Brexit terms were not good.

“The conditions have to be no less favourable than they are today,” he was reported as saying in the Times.

He said while there was no immediate plan to move manufacturing out of the UK, this issue would be reviewed in the next three to four years when the new A30X goes into production.

“The message has to be that all of our plants have to be competitive. At present, the UK is competitive and it has to remain that way,” he said.

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