Boeing's California-based production line for the C-17 Globemaster III is preparing to close. (Airman 1st Class Chacarra Neal/US Air Force)
DUBAI — As production of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III winds down, existing customers might place 11th hour orders for additional aircraft, company officials say.
But those decisions would have to come quickly as the company prepares to close the California-based production line.
“I’m concerned about which customer is going to get left out in the cold,” Paul Oliver, Boeing defense Middle East and Africa regional vice president for business development, said at a briefing today on the eve of the Dubai Air Show.
Boeing officials in September said C-17 production would end in 2015.
US Air Force production finished earlier this year.
The remaining aircraft are all for international customers. The company is building 13 of the 22 remaining cargo haulers on its own dime in anticipation of orders coming through.
The 13 aircraft are “earmarked for three customers,” Oliver said. Some of those aircraft are “being protected for a customer in the [Middle East].”
Boeing officials would not say which countries want the aircraft. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are both said to be interested.
Since Boeing announced it would close the line, existing customers have expressed interest in additional aircraft, Oliver said. That is in addition to the 13 that are earmarked.