Boeing picks London as its European base

By Staff Writer

Mar 18, 2016 01:54 AM EDT

Boeing has opted for the UK as home for the proposed new European headquarters. London will be the new home for Boeing's Europe operations. Its decision comes close on the heels of a joint pronouncement of a host of businessmen in favor of Britain staying in Europe. 

The world's largest aircraft maker seems to be not bothered about Brexit concerns as it chose London. Allaying fears that If Britain moves out of European Union (EU), it'll result in exodus of firms, Boeing's latest decision is supporting the UK. Britain will have voting on Brexit in June. 

This is Money reports that Boeing has taken a decision to make London as its base for European operations regardless of public voting on Brexit in June. Boeing's spokesperson says the UK is a critical market for Boeing, which has long standing relationship. On the other hand, 36 chiefs of business firms in FTSE-100 index wrote a letter claiming that Brexit would damage economic growth.

Businessmen said in the letter "We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment, threaten jobs and put the economy at risk. Britain will be stronger, safer and better off remaining a member of the EU."
Sir Michael Arthur, President of Boeing in the UK and Ireland, will manage the European operations of the company. Arthur will focus on strengthening its regional alignment and enhance its operational efficiency.

Boeing's UK business head has been given responsibility of the European operations as part of restructuring exercise. US aerospace company's new Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg has undertaken revamp plan at Boeing, as reported by Financial Times.

FTSE-100 companies such as Asda, BT, Kingfisher and Vodafone signed the letter favoring Britain staying in EU. However, Boeing has clarified that its decision has nothing to do with Brexit or staying in EU. Boeing is neutral on this issue. 

Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, has fixed the public voting date on 23 June for referendum on Brexit. Downing Street has gone overdrive cautioning potential economic damage of a Brexit.

Meanwhile, Boeing has reported encouraging performance for January 2016. A major order for 737-700 has boosted January orders and these were in line with expectations. Boeing booked 68 orders in January unclyding 61 orders for its single-aisle product and seven orders for a wide-body aircraft. 90 percent of orders were for narrow body aircraft and these account for 80 percent of the market value. The orders are valued at $9 billion on list price, but after discounts, it's pegged at a market value of $4.8 billion, according to Seeking Alpha.

Latest orders list includes Air China's order for six Boeing 777-300 ERs. Order inflow was further boosted by United Airlines' order for 40 Boeing 737-700. This order is worth $3.2 billion on list price. United States Navy on the other hand, has purchased 20 Boeing 737-800A airframes and this order accounts for 29 percent of the total order flow.  

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