Production of the ‘Queen of the Skies’ seems to be nearing the end as Boeing announced it halves production of the Boeing 747 in 2016. Production rate will fall back from 1 per month to 1 every two months by September. In March 2015, the production stood at 1.3 planes per month.
“Global air passenger traffic growth and airplane demand remain strong, but the air cargo market recovery that began in late 2013 has stalled in recent months and slowed demand for the 747-8 freighter,” said Ray Conner, Boeing vice chairman and president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Boeing also says it still has confidence in the 747-8 as well as an upcoming replacement cycle for late-model 747-400 freighters. More fuel efficient two-engined airliners such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 seem to be preferred choice for airlines, however. On the freighter-market, the Boeing 777 is more in demand.
November saw delivery of the 100th Boeing 747-8, the customer being Air Bridge Cargo. About two dozen Jumbo Jets remain to be build. By easing production rate, Boeing prevents from running out of orders late nex year.
The Jumbo’s first flight was on 9 February 1969 and the type has been in continuous production ever since, the latest incarnations beung the 740-400 and 747-8. Well over 1,500 have been built
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: Air Bridge Cargo 747-8. (Image © Boeing)