Boeing Might Stop Making 747 Jumbo Jets After Recent Slump In Orders

Image courtesy of Flying Photog

The days of flying through the air in a jumbo jet filled with hundreds of other travelers may someday be a thing of the past, as Boeing says it’s considering stopping production on its 747s.

Not as many orders have been coming in for the jumbo jets, which first appeared on the scene in the 1970s, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

“If we are unable to obtain sufficient orders and/or market, production and other risks cannot be mitigated, we could record additional losses that may be material, and it is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747,” Boeing said.

It’s put the kibosh on plans to ramp up production of the 747 from its current one plane per month starting in 2019, and will stick to its decision to halve the production rate in September instead.

“On the 747 program, we decided to reduce future production expectations and revenue assumptions to account for current and anticipated weakness in the air cargo market,” Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said on a post-earnings call with analysts reported by Reuters.

Cathay Pacific, United Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air China, and other airlines currently use the latest version of the 747.

Since Boeing first introduced the plane in 1970, it’s delivered more than 1,500 of the jets, The Wall Street Journal notes, starting with its first orders for Pan American World Airways.

Industry pros say the jumbo jet made international travel affordable for more people, with hundreds of seats on each flight spreading the cost out among a bigger group of paying passengers than previous planes.

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