CHARTER, JET AIRPLANE OPERATOR.
March 2008: Boeing (TBC)'s plans to offer a new freighter variant of the 767F based on its KC-767 proposal are in doubt, after Northrop Grumman (GRU) and (EADS) (EDS) won the (USAF) (USF) tanker contract. The move was an attempt to match the A330-200F's capability of carrying 69 tons over 3,200 nm. The current 767-300F can carry 55 tons over a similar distance. Boeing (TBC) was moving to offer a 767-200LRF Long Range Freighter and a 767-300LRF, with the former carrying less payload over much greater distances, while building on the nonstop appeal of the 777-200F. The company has a backlog of 51 767s, mostly freighters for (UPS), and is producing them at the rate of 1.5 per month. (EADS) (EDS)'s win gives Airbus (EDS) a production facility in the USA for its A330-200F and will aid sales efforts for the airplane to freight giants FedEx (FED) and (UPS). Boeing (TBC) has 28 days to appeal the decision, but may waive that strategy, hoping to win the KC-10 tanker replacement with its 777.
Airbus (EDS) President & (CEO), Tom Enders said "preparatory work is now underway" to establish an A330F freighter final assembly line (FAL) in Mobile following last week's USA Air Force (USF) decision to award (EADS)/Northrop Grumman (GRU) an initial contract potentially worth $40 billion to build KC-30 aerial refueling tankers based on the A330 design. Enders said Airbus (EDS) will "co-locate" the (FAL), which would be its first in the USA, on the site of the tanker (FAL). The company currently has an engineering center in Mobile, that is slated to employ 150 by 2009, but "hundreds" of workers are expected to be added to build the tankers and A330Fs.