The British-American Business Council Pacific Northwest held its annual aerospace conference at the Museum of Flight today. The daylong conference brought together stakeholders from Boeing, Airbus, and more.


Sir Michael Arthur gives a progress report during the annual aerospace conference. Photo courtesy British-American Business Council Pacific Northwest via Facebook.

Sir Michael Arthur, president and managing director of Boeing Europe and Boeing U.K. and Ireland, gave a company update during the conference. Arthur was appointed president of Boeing Europe in March.

Arthur addressed questions about the recent vote for Britain to leave the European Union, a move known as “Brexit.”

“Of course, there’s quite a lot of uncertainty,” Arthur said.

Half of what Boeing does in Europe is based in the U.K., he said, and the U.K. is the second largest aerospace economy in the world. That means things are unlikely to change.

Still, it is a time of the unknown. Arthur wasn’t sure how things would work out and reminded the audience that the full Brexit won’t go into effect for about two-and-a-half years.

Boeing currently employs more than 4,000 people in 18 European countries, including England and Ireland. Since 1959, the company has delivered more than 4,400 aircrafts to 127 European countries, and about 1,740 Boeing planes are operated by European-based airlines.

“Boeing, as a whole, is investing more in Europe,” said Arthur, adding that the company sees its European and U.K. operations as important to 21st century growth.

The Pacific Northwest chapter of the British-American Business Council is one of 25 chapters in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The mission of the Council is to foster both trade and commerce as well as build connections between U.S. and U.K. businesses. The Pacific Northwest office is located in Seattle.