Boeing Announces 1998 Production Rates

Boeing Commercial Airplane Group today announced production rate changes on a number of its airplane models. The rate changes, which take effect in 1998, will result in a production rate of 43 airplanes per month by the second quarter of that year.

Production rates will be set as follows: By the second quarter of 1998, production of the 737 will be 24 airplanes per month. That number includes a combination of the Next-Generation and current model 737s. In the second quarter of 1998, the 747 rate will increase from four airplanes per month to five. The 777 rate will go from seven airplanes per month to five beginning in March 1998. Production of the 757 will increase from four to five airplanes in the second quarter of 1998. Production of the 767 is currently expected to remain at four airplanes per month throughout 1998.

Boeing, the world's No. 1 producer of commercial jets, announced last December that the company's monthly production would reach a record 40 airplanes by the fourth quarter of this year. The previous record of 39.5 airplanes per month was reached in 1992.

"The future looks promising," said Ron Woodard, president of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. "We are constantly assessing our production requirements against market demand for new airplanes. Our goal is to deliver airplanes that provide superior value to our customers."

The company also has announced that 1997 deliveries are expected to total approximately 340 airplanes of all models.

In its recently issued 20-year assessment of worldwide air travel demand and airplane supply requirements, Boeing forecast air passenger traffic growth of 4.9 percent a year throughout the world. To meet that growth and replace aging aircraft, the report noted that the world's airlines are expected to add about 16,160 airplanes to their fleets, worth more than $1.1 trillion, during that same time period.