Boeing To Slow 747-8 Production

 - April 19, 2013, 1:57 PM
Cathay Pacific accounts for the only 747-8 customer so far this year. (Photo: Boeing)

Continued weak demand for large passenger and freighter airplanes has convinced Boeing to slow production of its 747-8 from a rate of two airplanes per month to 1.75.

The company expects to deliver the first airplane built at the new rate early next year. It said it doesn’t expect to move to result in a “significant” financial impact.

“Boeing will continue to monitor market conditions and their effect on production rates moving forward,” said the company in a statement. “The company expects long-term average growth in the air cargo market to resume in 2014, and forecasts a demand for 790 large airplanes [such as the 747-8 Intercontinental] to be delivered worldwide over the next 20 years.”

Boeing has delivered 46 of 110 airplanes on order so far. This year it has announced a sale to Cathay Pacific involving three freighter variants of the airplane. Last year it sold five to Air China and another two to an unidentified customer.