Boeing now building 777s at historic peak rate for widebodies

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Boeing is now producing 777s at the fastest annualised rate than any other widebody aircraft in the company's history.

The delivery today of a 777 Freighter to Korean Air marks the first 777 delivered at a monthly production rate of 8.3 per month, or 100 per year, Boeing says.

That 100 per year figure represents 12 more than the maximum number of 777s ever delivered in a single year and eight more 747s at peak output in 1970.

Boeing has been steadily ramping up production across all of its commercial aircraft programmes until it reaches a rate of about one delivery every 12h by 2014.

The 777 has already increased the pace of its output twice in the last 32 months, rising from an annual rate of 60 in 2010 to 84 by 2011.

As fast as the 777 is being produced, it is expected to be eclipsed in output by the 787 by the end of the year. Boeing intends to double monthly production to 10 787s before January, with a step-change increase to 7.5 in mid-year.

Further production rate increases across Boeing's commercial aircraft programmes are still possible.

For example, Boeing is launching a third production line in 2015 to build flight test aircraft for the 737 Max. Depending on market demand, that line could be converted into regular assembly, expanding output by as much as a third to 63 aircraft per year.