announced Friday a decision to lower the production rate of its 747-8 program from 1.75 to 1.5 aircraft per month due to lower market demand for large passenger and freighter jets.
The production rate adjustment is scheduled through 2015, as Boeing
has received just 107 orders for its fourth generation 747 since first launching the program in 2005. Lower demand reflects less interest in four-engined aircraft, which burn more fuel and require more maintenance than some of Boeing's more popular twin engine passenger jets, such as the 787 which despite the grounding earlier this year has garnered 131 net orders in 2013 alone.
"This production adjustment better aligns us with near-term demand while stabilizing our production flow, and better positions the program to offer the 747-8's compelling economics and performance when the market recovers," said Eric Lindblad, vice president and general manager of the 747 program at Boeing. "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."
Over the next two decades, Boeing is projecting global demand for 760 large aircraft, such as the 747-8, valued at $280 billion.
Related: Aviation Today's Checklist