Boeing’s Iconic 747 Era Could Come to an End

(Reuters) -
Boeing office in Washington, DC. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
Boeing office in Washington, D.C. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Boeing Co. could end production of the iconic 747 aircraft as the world’s biggest plane maker fights falling orders and pricing pressure on the plane, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

Boeing also canceled plans to increase production of the 747 to one plane per month from 2019, and stuck to its earlier plan of halving the production rate in September 2016.

Production rate on the 747, which was at 1.5 per month in June 2015, has gradually dropped to one a month in July 2016, signaling bad news for the jet’s future plan.

The company reported a smaller-than-expected second-quarter loss on Wednesday, helped by strong performances in its jetliner and defense businesses.

Boeing warned last week that it planned to take $3 billion in pretax charges related to its 787, 747 and KC-46 tanker aircraft programs.

Nicknamed “Jumbo Jet” and “Queen of the Skies,” the wide-body aircraft is a sought after one among heads of state, including the U.S. president, whose Air Force One is a variant of the 747.

The latest version of the 747, capable of traveling the length of three FIFA football fields in a second, is used by Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa and Air China, among others.