ISTAT 2012: Boeing investigating higher 777 and 767 rates

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As it continues its steep ramp to 10 787s per month by the end of 2013, Boeing is exploring what it would take to advance 777 and 767 production rates to meet widebody passenger and freighter aircraft demand.

Currently running at seven aircraft per month with plans to go to 8.3, or 100 aircraft per year, Boeing senior vice president of marketing, Mike Bair says: "We're looking at the possibility of going higher than that."

"We understand 8.3, once we're building at 8.3, we'll say 8.4 or something, and then we'll say 'oh my god we need a giant building'" to meet a higher "and we'll work our way through it again," says Bair, evaluating a capital expenditure analysis of further increasing the rate.

Boeing's 767 has orders for 71 aircraft, including the first four development 767-2Cs for the US Air Force KC-46A tanker contract.

"Unfortunately part of [the 767 backlog] is something else isn't delivering, some of it's filling in the slack," says Bair, referring to the delays to the 787 programme, though the company holds orders for 45 767-300F aircraft as of 1 March.

"If the commercial demand continues we might have to look at small rate increases to satisfy it, it's a good problem to have," says Bair who adds that Boeing is "a year away" from any decision.