Final Word from Monday, October 27, 2003

Boeing is under pressure again from the cabinet to take more interest in Aero Vodochody. Other than a much-criticized contract for more L-159 airplanes than the Czech army needed, Aero hasn't sold any of the training planes. There have been indications for years that Boeing was mainly interested in Aero as a way to get at the deal to sell supersonic fighters to the air force. But that fell through. Boeing can walk away from Aero and have its losses covered, thanks to a guarantee from the Czech state. Although it's the largest U.S. exporter, Boeing hasn't ever been successful as a global company, according to the Financial Times. Its style and work force remain firmly American. Thomas Pickering, a respected former U.S. diplomat, has been helping Boeing become more international. He must know that letting Aero die wouldn't improve Boeing's global image.


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