Boeing this week began assembling its first 777 jetliner constructed at the fastest production pace its Everett plant has ever seen.
The company, trying to match its production pace with the accelerated rate of sales for its 777, plans to increase monthly production of the long-range, twin-engine plane to 8.3. Boeing has been building seven of the planes per month.
Last year, Boeing customers ordered a net of 200 777s. This year, net 777 orders have amounted to just 17, in part because Boeing can’t deliver 777s fast enough to meet airline’s demands and because some airlines are delaying orders until they see whether Boeing commits itself to build an updated, more efficient 777. Boeing has been studying that uprated 777 now called the 777X for several years.
Boeing workers up the pace of 777 assembly
Boeing has hired and trained hundreds of new employees to handle the increased work. Boeing’s Puget Sound employment has grown by more than 4,000 workers since the year’s beginning. Many of those workers are involved in production or design of commercial aircraft.
The aerospace company has increased the assembly speed on all of its Puget Sound production lines that build the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 to create more available aircraft earlier for airlines who’ve ordered or want to order new planes.
The first plane built at the quicker pace is a Korean Air 777 Freighter.
The company says 1,049 777s are now in service. Customers have ordered 331 more of the planes. That’s nearly three years and three months of production at the 8.3 planes per month rate.