April 25, 2018, © Leeham News: Buried deep within Boeing’s first quarter earnings report is a single, seemingly innocuous sentence:
“Reflecting the strength of the cargo market, we now plan to increase the production rate on the 767 program from 2.5 to 3 per month beginning in 2020.”
There is more to this than meets the eye. It portends potentially big orders and this rate increase may be only the first to come.
The announced rate increase comes right on schedule to market information received by LNC months ago: that the 767 production rate would be increased to 3/mo in January 2020.
Boeing alerted the supply chain to study increases to this and more: to 3/mo in January 2020, 3/5/mo in July and 4/mo in January 2021.
The rate would come down to 3/mo in January 2025 and 2/mo in July, supply chains sources told LNC.
FedEx currently has 56 767Fs on order, UPS four and Unidentified three. But UPS is looking at an order for the Airbus A330-900F, an as-yet unlaunched version of the A330neo, and market intelligence tells LNC the cargo carrier has rights of first refusal for 767Fs should Boeing up production.
Amazon Prime cargo has long been rumored in the market and press reports to be interested in a large order for the 767F. It currently leases 767s from Atlas Air and Air Transport Services Group.