Boeing cuts 777 production before 777X debut

Posted on 16 Dec 2016 by Michael Cruickshank

US based aerospace firm Boeing this week announced that it would reduce the production of its 777 passenger jet.

The company announced that it was forced to make this decision of the back of slowing sales of the aircraft.

According to reporting by The Seattle Times, Boeing will reportedly reduce the number of airframes produced at its Everett, Washington plant from 7 aircraft per month to 5.

This decision follows an earlier decision to cut the production from 8.3 per month (100 per year) earlier this year.

Boeing reportedly has not secured the sale of any more of the aircraft following an earnings call in October when it announced the initial drop in production.

It is so-far unclear what effect this will happen on job levels, however it is almost certain to result in some medium-term job losses.

The Boeing 777 first entered service in 1995, and had previously been one of the company’s best-selling aircraft due to its high-fuel efficiency for its size.

Next-generation 777X

Boeing blames the slowdown in sales on the forthcoming debut of the next generation Boeing 777X aircraft.

This new wide-body aircraft will incorporate many of the new technologies Boeing has implemented in the 787 Dreamliner including composite wings with folding tips, as well as new improved jet engines.

If all goes to plan, the first of these new aircraft will be sold to customers in 2020.

The Boeing Everett plant will further cut production of the older 777 in 2018 to begin the production of the first 777x demonstration models.

All up, the reduction in sales of the older 777 will result in an interim loss of incoming for Boeing, however once the 777X production kicks into high gear, it should be able to recoup some of these losses.

According to statements by the company, the 777X will sell for between $370-400m depending on which model is chosen by the customer.

Currently Boeing has secured orders for at least 321 of the new aircraft for a number of customers including Lufthansa, Emirates and Cathay Pacific.