Boeing 747-8 production rate: To the surprise of absolutely no one, Boeing today announced it will trim the production rate of the 747-8 from 1.75 per month to 1.5/mo through 2015. the only surprise is that it wasn’t reduced to 1/mo.
Boeing cited lower demand for Very Large Aircraft, both in passenger and freighter models. Boeing stood by the airplane, however, predicting a cargo market recovering next year.
“This production adjustment better aligns us with near-term demand while stabilizing our production flow, and better positions the program to offer the 747-8’s compelling economics and performance when the market recovers,” said Eric Lindblad, vice president and general manager, 747 Program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, in a statement. “Although we are making a small adjustment to our production rate, it doesn’t change our confidence in the 747-8 or our commitment to the program.”
There is a backlog of only 51 aircraft.
The USAF wants to replace its two Air Force One 747-200s in 2021. We think Boeing will be hard-pressed to keep the line alive until then. The official launch of the Boeing 777X, and the widely expected order for the larger 9X version at the Dubai Air Show next month, will make it that much more difficult for Boeing to sell the airplane.