Boeing Indicates 747 Production Ends in 2022

The era of the classic four-engine jumbo may well come to a close.

Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 has been a big draw at aviation events such as EAA AirVenture 2019, when the latest model in UPS livery flew in to hang out at show center.Julie Boatman

After more than 50 years since its first flight, the Boeing 747 faces the end of the production line. The Boeing Company indicated during its second quarter earnings report on July 29 that the company would end production of the 747 four-engine jumbo jet in 2022. The Commercial Airplanes division delivered 20 airplanes during the quarter, with a reported backlog of more than 4,500 airplanes to the tune of $326 billion.

News on the 747′s production end followed on the heels of two big players in the global passenger airline market— Qantas and British Airways—retiring the jet or planning for it, respectively, from their fleets.

The company also reported that its 737 program resumed “early stages of production in May” and it expects to continue at “low rates for the remainder of 2020,” incrementally increasing the production rate to 31 per month by 2022. Further, the company stated, “Commercial Airplanes has further updated its production rate assumptions this quarter to reflect impacts of COVID-19 on its demand outlook, and will continue to assess them on an ongoing basis. The 787 production rate will be reduced to 6 per month in 2021. The 777/777X combined production rate will be gradually reduced to 2 per month in 2021, with 777X first delivery targeted for 2022. At this time, production rate assumptions have not changed on the 767 and 747 programs.”

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