Boeing will increase production of its 787 family aircraft beginning in 2016, as airlines seek to expand their fleets and to replace older aircraft with newer, more-fuel efficient models, says the manufacturer.
Boeing will increase 787 production to 12 monthly by 2016 and 14 monthly by the end of the decade, Boeing’s president and chief executive James McNerney says during the company’s third quarter earnings call today.
Boeing currently produces 787s at a rate of seven monthly, but production will increase to 10 monthly by the end of this year. The 787 is assembled at Boeing's sites in Everett, Washington, and Charleston, South Carolina.
Higher production will ensure the manufacturer meets demand for its 787-8 and 787-9, as well as the 787-10, which is scheduled to enter service in 2018, McNerney adds.
Boeing’s strong order book for the 787 and its other commercial models reflect the health of commercial aviation market and bode well for the future of Boeing’s commercial aviation division, according to McNerney.
“Overall, commercial aviation remains a very attractive near- and long-term growth market,” he says, noting that requests from customers to defer deliveries are running “well below” historic averages and that many customers are eager to accelerate deliveries.
In the third quarter of 2013, Boeing booked $20 billion worth of orders for more than 200 commercial aircraft, the company reported. Boeing now has some 4,800 total outstanding commercial aircraft orders worth $345 billion, it said.
Demand from airlines for newer models helped Boeing’s commercial aircraft division bring in $14 billion in revenue during the third quarter, resulting in an operating profit for the division of $1.6 billion, up 40% from the third quarter of 2012.
Boeing’s total operating profit for the period was $1.8 billion, up 16% year-over-year.
Despite a healthy commercial market, McNerney says the cargo aircraft market remains “soft”, noting that last week the company announced it will cut production of its 747-8 to 1.5 aircraft monthly in 2014, down from the current rate of 1.75 aircraft monthly.