Boeing, flying high once again?

After 15 months and millions of dollars spent, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has resumed commercial flights. The groundbreaking jet, introduced in July 2003 was dubbed as the next generation airplane that would revolutionize the way air travel operated. Soon after preliminary flights, major aircraft corporations began to notice technical and mechanical issues that affected the reliability of the jet. These problems resulted in flights being delayed and cancelled. In January, two 787s owned by Japanese airlines experienced burning batteries that would later ground all 787s.

Prior to the grounding, delivered 787s logged a reliability rating of 97.7% (23 delays/cancellations out of 1000 flights). This result was comparable to the long tested and proven 777 that that 787 aims to replace. As technology expands, systems become more intricate and coincide with higher rates of failure. The 787 is an example of new age lithium-ion batteries, electrical systems, and computer systems that alter service requirements. This plane alone requires 10 times more power during startup than traditional Boeing planes, computer and electrical systems to be turned on three hours before each flight, and scheduled maintenance in between each flight.

During this downtime Boeing continuously has been mass producing these airplanes to fill the 800+ orders that have been filed from 50+ customers. By April 2013, 50 planes have been built and delivered to their respective companies. However, this plane does retain more positives than negatives, thus accounting for the 800+ orders. With this new technology, the planes will be able to be serviced in as little as 45 minutes. This will allow for companies to keep their planes in the air instead of on the ground. In addition, new light weight materials have been used and new fuel efficient engines fitted on the wings that allow for longer distance flights without using more fuel.

Aboard the new computer system, Boeing has also included a transmitter that will upload the airplane’s data to a world-wide network managed by Boeing’s facilities near Seattle. This system will track each jet’s information, making it easier for mechanics to fix any issues that may have occurred during a flight. This system will also allow for Boeing to monitor necessary maintenance updates as well as be able to ground any planes that it deems unsafe to fly.

Years behind schedule and plagued with problems, the Boeing 787 did not have a successful start. Boeing executives believe that in the future years to come, this plane will be more reliable than the 777 and project a reliability rating of 99+%. The 787 is a key example of problems during the operations strategy of a company and their ability to overcome difficult situations that result in millions of dollars of losses. At this point the 787 is operational, but if similar problems occur in the future, Boeing may lose potential orders.

With so many problems occurring with the 787, do you believe that its main competitor (Airbus) may be regarded as a safer investment?

What do you believe lies in the future for the 787? Will it continue to experience more problems or will it beat the projected 99+% reliability?

Works Cited
Ostrower, Jon, and Andy Pasztor. “Dreamliner’s Other Issues Draw Attention; Boeing and Airlines Try to Improve More Systems After Fixing Battery Flaws.” Wall Street Journal (Online): n/a. May 20 2013. ProQuest. Web. 22 May 2013.

Can the Cruise Industry Stay Afloat?

It’s been a nightmare at sea for this seasons start to the 2013 Cruise Season. From passengers going overboard, crew members dying and of course the horrific Carnival cruise ship that suffered a mass power outage that left over 4200 passengers stranded in the Mexican Gulf, the industry has been hit with new challenges.

Although, Carnival Cruise line has been getting the blunt of the bad media coverage for several equipment failures, the whole industry of cruise ships still have been affected. The Cruise Industry is now facing challenges of attracting new passengers due to recent events coupled with the old challenge of increasing operational costs and competition.

With high fuel costs, expensive airfare, and a rougher economy, almost every cruise line has been forced to cut costs while still trying to attract consumers. The Carnival Cruise ships have been proof that cutting costs in procedures, maintenance and quality crew members in order to provide over the top amenities and attractive destinations at reasonable costs to passengers have major consequences.

The challenge is not just picking attractive destinations and providing better service and perks then the next cruise ship.

All cruise lines have been optimistic in light of the horrific at-sea events, through the release of big upgrades, innovations and reengineered cruise ships in attempt to save the industry and their images. Cruise lines are taking on the challenge by restructuring ships to be the destination. An editor of , Caroyln Spencer Brown believes that “When you start focusing on shiny new ships with funky, fun, new amenities and features, the market comes back.” Or at least that is their hope.

The Royal Caribbean will release more thrill seeking attractions like bumper cars and simulated skydiving, while the Disney Cruise line will be redesigning their old ship to mimic the Marvel Comic Superhero theme. Several other major attractions like water parks, state of the art dining , world class exercise classes are all features that are changing the cruise line industry; it’s no longer just about the port destinations, its the ship itself that delivers the true experience.

While other cruise lines are adding over-the-top products and services to their ships, Carnival Cruise is sticking to product improvement. They have cancelled several cruises and spent over $300 million on safety upgrades and emergency generators to enhance their dependability and prevent anymore-technical nightmares.

Although, the thrill of walking on a plank, ice bars, eccentric food from Food Network Chefs, themes and celebrity shows sound enticing…I think there is a point where safety should not be forfeited. Also, is it really right for Cruise Lines to believe the ship “experience” outshines the actual destinations?


Ice Bar in Norwegian Cruise Ship

Observatory 300 feet above Sea Level

Would you pick a cruise based on it’s innovative amenities or on the basis of the trips destinations?

What dimension of quality do you think is most important for Cruise Lines to focus on?  Aesthetics? Service? Reliability etc..?