Boeing to lower 787 production rate in late 2020

Updated: Oct. 23, 2019 at 8:02 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - In its third-quarter earnings report published Wednesday morning, Boeing says it will decrease the production rate of one of the planes it makes in North Charleston.

Citing the “current global trade environment," the airplane maker said it will make the reduction in late 2020 with a plan in place to make 12 787′s per month until approximately 2022.

The move marks a return to the previous production rate after CEO Dennis Muilenburg announced in early 2019 that the 787 production rate would jump to 14 from 12.

In the third quarter, Boeing reported a commercial airplanes backlog which included nearly 5,500 airplanes valued at $387 billion.

The company also said its commercial airplanes division booked net orders worth $5 billion in the third quarter including an order for twenty 787s from Korean Air and eight 787s for Air New Zealand.

“While we don’t breakdown production rates by site, we will adjust the overall program production rate in a way that best meets the needs of the program, our customers and our workforce,” Boeing SC spokeswoman Elizabeth Holland said. “We will always keep our people at the center of our priorities and communicate details as soon as possible.”

The earnings announcement comes one day after Boeing announced it would replace Kevin McCalister as the head of its commercial airlines unit. He will be replaced by Stanley Deal, the leader of the Boeing’s global services division.

Boeing also addressed the continued fallout from the 737 MAX crashes, saying it will gradually increase the 737 production rate from 42 per month to 57 per month by late 2020.

“Our top priority remains the safe return to service of the 737 MAX, and we’re making steady progress,” Muilenburg said. “We’ve also taken action to further sharpen our company’s focus on product and services safety, and we continue to deliver on customer commitments and capture new opportunities with our values of safety, quality and integrity always at the forefront.”

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