Is Reduced Demand for Boeing’s 747-8 a Cause for Concern?
For the second time this year, Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) is slowing the production rate for its 747-8 jumbo jet — the plane-maker’s biggest model — citing dwindling demand for four-engine aircraft.
On Friday, Boeing said in a statement that the company’s new rate of production will be 1.5 planes per month, which represents a 14 percent drop from Boeing’s cut announced back in April. Boeing expects the pace to be maintained through 2015, but while there have been no sales for the jumbo jet this year, the plane-maker says that it is in “active” discussions with several customers and expects a boost in the 2014 cargo market — a change which could spark interest in the 747-8 freighter, according to Boeing spokesman Doug Alder.
In order to entice customers to purchase the new jets, Bloomberg reports that Boeing has parked some new 747-8s in the desert and is allowing customers to trade in older jets in order to boost sales for its newest variation. While the 747-8 enjoys an iconic status, having revolutionized travel over 40 years ago, airlines have recently shifted towards twin-engine jets that burn less fuel than the more expensive four-engine jets yet are able to fly the same distance.