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Boeing Confirms that the End May be Near for the 747

US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing has indicated in SEC filings that the more than four-decade-long reign of the iconic 747 jumbo jet may soon be coming to a close.

In recent years, reports of the death of the Boeing 747 program have been greatly exaggerated. In October of 2014, shortly after Delta Airlines made the decision to slowly retire the remaining 747s in its fleet, analysts declared that the end was nigh for production of the “Queen of the Skies.” At the time, Boeing officials dismissed any notion that the company would soon cease to produce the latest version of the world’s first jumbo jet. “There is still a fair amount of interest,” Boeing Vice President Eric Lindblad told reporters. “Enough that we’re going to sit here today and say we expect we’re going to be building the 747-8 for quite a bit longer.”

Now, Boeing has reversed that position, admitting in its most recent SEC filing that the 747 program may no longer be sustainable. “The combination of production challenges, change incorporation on early build aircraft, schedule delays, customer and supplier impacts and changes to price escalation factors has created significant pressure on program profitability,” Boeing said in a recent regulatory report. “If we are unable to obtain sufficient orders and/or market, production and other risks cannot be mitigated, we could record additional losses that may be material, and it is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747.”

According to the filing, Boeing is currently stuck with a large inventory of unsold 747 aircraft. The company added that it has abandoned plans to return to a production schedule of one new 747 each month. Boeing currently produces one jumbo jet every six weeks and will soon move to a schedule closer to one aircraft produced every two months. As recently as 1990, assembly lines created as many as six 747s each month.

[Photo: Boeing]

Comments are Closed.
Irpworks July 30, 2016

L1011 Tristar and 747 were my favorites when I flew often.

alphaod July 29, 2016

I always liked the 747. It's sad to see it go. Never liked the A380. Simply too enormous. Mostly just fly the 777 now.

Sydneyberlin July 29, 2016

Finally! Never liked this old rattler with the silly looking half top pimple up the front. Airbus did the job proper- A380 all the way for me!

Cedar Jet July 29, 2016

747 = Queen Mother A380 = Queen 787 = Princess Royal A350 = Prince :)