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Boeing to cut 747 output to one every two months

22 January 2016

A prolonged slump in the air-cargo market had forced Boeing to cut production of the slow-selling 747 jumbo jet to one airplane every two months, since September, the airplane maker announced.

As a result, Boeing will book a $885-million pretax write-off.

In an earlier announcement, Boeing said its 747 production rate would drop from 1.3 per month today to one per month in March.

''We expect some impact on employment,'' said spokesman Doug Alder. ''We'll try to mitigate that by placing employees in other jobs across the other jet programs, The Seattle Times reported.

''But we're first going to handle that by reducing the number of executives and managers,'' he said.

Boeing offered no estimate for the likely number of job losses from the roughly 2,000 people working on the 747.

According to Alder, however, it would be more at the management level and less in manufacturing.

He added, the management reduction had already started with the combination of various parts of the 747 and 767 operations.

''Many of the groups have operated jointly for several years, including HR, Finance, Engineering and the Delivery Center/Flightline teams,'' Alder said.

One 747 carries a price tag of $379 million.

In a separate development, the Seattle-based company got a boost when United Airlines announced it would buy 40 Boeing 737-700 jets to replace smaller planes used by its regional-airline partners. According to commentators those planes would be worth over $3.2 billion, although airlines routinely got big discounts.

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