Boeing cuts 747-8 production to 1.5 per month

Washington DC
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Boeing will again reduce the pace of production of the 747-8 to 1.5 per month, but the company says that it remains committed to the programme over the long-term.

The move comes six months after Boeing cut production from two per month to 1.75.

The 747-8 Intercontinental has failed to attract new orders from airlines, and the 747-8 Freighter variant has endured a prolonged slump for air cargo traffic.

Although Boeing previously voiced confidence that sales could rebound, suppliers such as LMI Aerospace said they were preparing for further production rate cutbacks beyond the reduction to 1.75 last April.

Plummeting demand for cargo over the summer forced Boeing to deliver several 747-8Fs straight into long-term storage in the Arizona desert, as customer Nippon Cargo Airlines was unable to take delivery.

"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," Eric Lindblad, Boeing's vice-president and general manager of the 747-8 programme.

As of 30 September, Boeing's order backlog for the 747-8 stood at 28 freighters and 23 passenger aircraft.