RENTON, Wash. – The president of Boeing commercial airplanes is hinting at some big deals in the works for the new 737 MAX that will be built in Renton.
Jim Albaugh spoke to CNBC Thursday from London, just hours after Machinists voted to approve a four year contract extension with Boeing, guaranteeing the 737 MAX will be built in the Northwest.
Reports have surfaced that United and Southwest Airlines may be ready to place some big orders for the plane.
“We don’t comment on specific customers in the deals that we're doing with them, but it wouldn't surprise me if we had a couple of announcements by the end of the year,” said Albaugh.
Boeing has received more than 700 commitments from customers for the 737 MAX, which should enter service in 2017.
As part of the new contract, the union said it will drop its National Labor Relations Board complaint over Boeing’s decision to open a non-union plant in South Carolina. Albaugh was asked about whether Boeing caved to union demands.
"I don't think we caved at all,” said Albaugh. “Again, it wasn't part of the deal. We had an understanding that the union would withdraw this claim. We were happy to move forward with this case and we think that we would have prevailed in the event that it had gone forward, and you know it still may.”
The NLRB has indicated it will drop the charge.