Boeing announced this afternoon that it will cut production of its 777 line from seven to five airplanes a month beginning in June 2010 “due to significant deterioration in the business environment for airlines and cargo operators driven by unprecedented global economic conditions.” The company also said it will delay previous plans to “modestly” increase 747-8 and 767 production rates. It stressed that it harbors no plans to pare back 737 production “at this time.”
The company said the production decisions and unfavorable price escalation will reduce its first-quarter 2009 net earnings by about $0.38 per share.
“These are extremely difficult economic times for our customers,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Scott Carson. “It’s necessary to adjust our production plans to align supply with these tough market conditions. We are in close contact with our customers as we continue to monitor this dynamic business environment.”
Boeing said the decisions announced today solely reflect delivery deferrals requested by customers in response to “unprecedented declines” in global passenger and air-cargo volumes. It stressed that none of the cancellations so far announced this year involved 747s, 767s or 777s. Boeing’s net order total for this year stands at negative four due to the cancellation of orders for 32 B787s.