Boeing, which beat out Mobile-based EADS for an enormous Air Force refueling tanker contract, had two big farewells to announce in the past few months. First, the company announced late last year that they expect to lose $500 million on the first 18 tankers they build. There’s a bright side to that announcement, however, since the number of tankers is inching upward and the Illinois-based firm is expecting to recoup a bit of the per-plane loss on each one built after the first dozen-and-a-half.
Just after the first of the year, Boeing and its tanker contract bid farewell to the company’s long-time plant in Wichita, Kansas—where city and state officials had helped Boeing lobby for the federal contract by showing the importance of those defense jobs to the heartland state.
“Kansas workers and Kansas political leaders were central to the Air Force's decision to select Boeing over EADS, ” Kansas Republic Sen. Mike Pompeo said in a statement quoted in the Everett, Washington, Herald. “To remove Kansas from the tanker project not only violates a public trust, but it creates risk to taxpayers and to our fighting forces.”
By Nedra Bloom