Boeing will bring forward planned production rate increases for the 777 and 747-8 as a result of higher demand and the recovering aircraft market.
The adjustments to rates will see 777 output rise from five to seven units per month from mid 2011, six months ahead of schedule. Output on the 747-8 will rise to two per month (from 1.5) from mid 2012, instead of 2013 as originally planned. Boeing says that its suppliers will be ready to handle the increases.
“Our customers recognise the great capability and value of the 777 and 747-8,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh. “Market improvement and our conservatively managed approach to production have put us in a position where we see it necessary to raise aircraft output. Increasing our rate is the right thing to do to support our customers.”
Boeing’s head of marketing Randy Tinseth noted that the increases were consistent with the company’s forecasts on demand, following the recent flat period for new aircraft sales. “We see 2010 as the year of overall economic recovery within the industry and 2011 a year where airlines return to profitability. As a result, we anticipate an increase in demand for airplanes in 2012 and beyond.”