LE BOURGET, France — Joe Ozimek is bald on top, with a monklike fringe of white hair. His extraordinary bushy eyebrows form perfect quotation marks that frame his face. Only his expensive suits and snappy ties betray the fact that Boeing has transformed this former aerodynamicist and engineer into a vice president of marketing.
Wednesday morning, he proved himself Boeing’s best pitchman in Paris.
At air shows, Boeing executives can come across as stiff and guarded compared to their looser, brasher peers at Airbus. Not Joe. (And everyone calls him Joe.)
He is folksy in his conversation and combative when he needs to be, ready to slash back at barbs from Airbus sales chief John Leahy.
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Ozimek pitched the 737 MAX to journalists, entertainingly making the case that the 737 MAX will retain an 8 percent fuel-burn advantage over the rival Airbus A320.
He announced that Boeing is accelerating the program’s delivery schedule: The first 737 MAX 8 will enter service not in the fourth quarter of 2017 but in the third quarter. (Vice president of airplane development Scott Fancher said earlier that the plane would be delivered six months earlier than previously planned, but Boeing later corrected that.)
Ozimek also showed off new upgrades to the cockpit, which will now feature large dashboard displays like those on the 787 Dreamliner.
Deploying U.S. Department of Transportation data, he dismissed the Airbus claim of parity on fuel burn. “No way that is so,” said Ozimek. “The data will set you free.”
And using a model 737 MAX, he savored the chance to talk about the aerodynamics of the new split winglets. His explanation included a digression to explain why geese fly in a V formation and how that relates to Boeing’s winglet.
Boeing added an order Wednesday for 30 of its MAX 8 jets from aircraft-leasing company CIT Aerospace. The planes have a list price of $100.5 million.
Ryanair also finalized its deal to buy 175 of the current 737-800 single-aisle jet, with airline chief Michael O’Leary making his first ever Paris Air Show appearance.
Airbus, meanwhile, announced 59 orders for its A350, which flew last week for the first time:
• Singapore Airlines ordered 30 A350-900s, with an option to buy another 20 of the 900s or the larger 1000 model. The airline had already ordered 20 of the A350.
• Air France-KLM also put in an order for 25 A350 jets, saying the plane will be central to its plan to expand long-haul flights after years of struggling against discount carriers in Europe.
• Airbus also announced that SriLankan Airlines, the country’s national carrier, would buy four A350s and six slightly smaller A330 jets.
Dominic Gates: (206) 464-2963 or firstname.lastname@example.org