The end could be nigh for the iconic Boeing 747
It could be the end of an era for one of aviation’s most iconic airplanes, with Boeing hinting at the end of the production line for its double-decker 747 aircraft.
Weak sales and encroaching competition are forcing the planemaker to re-evaluate the production of its legendary 747 aircraft, the original Jumbo Jet which changed the face of the industry when it debuted in 1970.
In a post-earnings call with analysts this week, Boeing said “it’s reasonably possible” that production could halt altogether if sales continue to plummet.
The company has slashed production plans from 12 a year, to six, beginning in September.
In addition to its distinctive hump which is most commonly used as a first class cabin, the 747 became the world’s first wide-body aircraft and held onto the title of world’s biggest airliner for nearly four decades, before the arrival of Airbus A380 in 2007.
The most popular version of the 747 currently in service is the 747-400.
The newest iteration of the series is the 747-8, a powerful jet that can travel the length of three FIFA soccer fields in one second.
Airlines that have purchased the latest 747 as part of their fleet include Korean Air, Air China, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa and All Nippon Airways. The 747-8 accommodates 410 passengers.
The 747-8 has also been chosen by the US Air Force to serve as Air Force One.