Boeing to Keep Douglas Jet
Boeing Co. added the 100-seat MD-95 jet made at its Douglas Products Division in Long Beach to its family of jets last week, saying it has received new orders for the aircraft.
The announcement means job security for about 900 Long Beach workers, and in fact the number of people working on the jet will grow to about 1,200 after two years as the production rate increases, said James R. Phillips, vice president of MD-95 program. Boeing is renaming the jet the 717-200.
Fifty MD-95s were ordered shortly after the model was unveiled by McDonnell-Douglas Corp. (which Boeing bought last year) in 1995, and Phillips said there have been more orders but he declined to offer specifics.
Long Beach workers are currently finishing three test planes, and the first deliveries of the 717-200 are slated for next year.
Twelve jets are slated to be built in 1999, with 30 to 40 built in the year 2000. Ultimately, Long Beach will gear up to produce 10 of the craft a month, Phillips said, although he did not know how long it would take to reach that level.