21 OCTOBER 2013
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The production slowdown with the Boeing 747 continues (it first flew in 1969) but whether this means the end of the aircraft which coined the phrase ‘Jumbo Jet’ remains to be seen. Boeing is confident that there is still a market for the four-engined jet, which has no competition in the large air freighter arena, Airbus having dropped the idea of a cargo version of the A380 some years back.
From early 2014 from the Everett hangars 747-8i freighters will emerge at a rate of 1.5 per month rather than 1.75.
"This production adjustment better aligns us with near-term demand while stabilizing our production flow, and better positions the programme to offer the 747-8’s compelling economics and performance when the market recovers", said Eric Lindblad, Vice President and General Manager, 747 Programme, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "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 programme".
The company forecasts global demand for 760 large aircraft over the next 20 years, valued at US$280bn. www.boeing.com/commercial
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