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Boeing To End Production Of Its Iconic 747 Jumbo Jet: Reports

Boeing To End Production Of Its Iconic 747 Jumbo Jet: Reports
Manufacturing of its iconic 747 Jumbo Jets would be stopped by United States based aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing after it completes a current order of 16 planes, said reports quoting sources.
Reports said that the company expects to complete the production of the last batch of the 747 Jumbo Jets within the next two years. The model has been in production for more than five decades. 
An already declining market for the iconic plane have been further depressed by the severe impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the global aviation industry which is not expected to return back to the pandemic level until the next few year at least.
There has so far been no formal comment the reports of end of production for the 747 Jumbo Jets. Reports also said that the plane maker has not yet conveyed anything about the possible changes to the workers at its plant in Everett, Washington, near Seattle, where the latest version of these aircraft, the 747-8 variant, is being assembled.
"At a build rate of half an airplane per month, the 747-8 program has more than two years of production ahead of it in order to fulfill our current customer commitments," Boeing told the news outlet Bloomberg. "We will continue to make the right decisions to keep the production line healthy and meet customer needs."
There had already been signals that the production line of the 747 Jumbo Jets was close to its end days. In 2015, Boeing had slowed down production of the model to just one plane per month and since then the rate of production has halved.
Manufacturing equipment from its plant in Hawthorne, California, that makes 747-8 fuselages, were being auctioned off by Triumph Group, the largest of Boeing's Jumbo Jet subcontractors claimed reports in November 2019. That was a signal of the slowdown in work at the site. This plant had been involved in the manufacturing of every single fuselage for every single 747 Jumbo Jets since the first one was ordered in 1966 by PanAm. The 747 Jumbo Jets were iconic at that time because they were able to carry large numbers of passengers across long distances for the first time amidst an already transforming global airline industry because of a number of developments in emergence of new jet airliners.
Over the past 15 years however there has been a significant slowdown in the demand from airlines for the 747-8 models, the only version of the Jumbo Jet still in production, as the older 747 models were begin retired from service by a host of airlines all across the world.
The experience of Boeing is however not unique as the European aviation consortium Airbus announced in 2019 that production of its hugely successful A380, the only real direct competitor to the 747 could be stopped from 2021 because of falling demand. 
This situation has been further compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic crisis which has decimated the air travel industry and caused a widespread global economic downturn.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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