Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Boeing plans to further speed up 767 aircraft production

Boeing said on Wednesday that it will push production of its 767 aircraft up by 25 percent in 2017 to help fill a historic order for 50 planes from FedEx Corp.

Boeing said it would lift the production rate to 2.5 a month from two a month starting in the fourth quarter of 2017. The company makes 1.5 a month currently and is due to reach two a month in the first quarter of 2016.

"We are confident the market will support a long-term future for the 767," Brad Zaback, vice president and general manager, said in an internal memo seen by Reuters.

The backlog of 767 orders reaches into the mid-2020s, he said, and will result in a small increase in employees in 2017.

The rate increase was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Boeing also is ramping up output of 787 and 737 jets but reducing production of its bigger 747 jetliner, which has suffered from slow sales.

Some analysts have said Boeing will need to temporarily cut production of the twin-aisle 777 as it switches to a new version later in the decade, but Boeing has said it has no current plans to cut that rate.

The 767, which first flew in 1981, is a twin-aisle plane that holds up to 290 passengers and is also a popular freighter.

A modified version is being developed as a military refueling tanker. Boeing is due to supply the first 18 tankers to the U.S. Air Force by August 2017. Boeing said last month the first flight of the tanker was delayed about a month.

The FedEx order for 50 767 freighters was the largest single order for the aircraft in its history, Boeing said.

(Alwyn Scott - Reuters)

No comments: