You know what the say: mo’ planes, mo’ money. Boeing (NYSE:BA) vice president and general manager Jack Jones told Reuters on Thursday that the company is close to hitting its production target of 10 787 Dreamliner jets pet month, which would be the fastest build rate of any airplane Boeing has produced to date. Boeing delivered 54 jets through November and, if it hits its target, could break 60 for the year despite a three-month production delay due to battery issues with the jet.
Boeing is focusing an enormous amount of attention on its commercial division in light of waning government business for its defense division and waxing demand for commercial jets from around the world. The 10 plane production target is just a stepping stone to a target of 12 planes per month by mid-2016, and of 14 per month by about 2019. Boeing estimates that between 2013 and 2032, the world will demand 35,280 airplanes valued at $4.84 trillion. Most of this demand is expected to come from Asia Pacific ($1.89 trillion, or about 39 percent of total) and Europe ($1 trillion, or about 20 percent of total).
On Friday, Boeing announced a deal with Cathay Pacific – an international airline based in Hong Kong — for 21 777-9x airplanes valued at more than $7 billion. The 777x program was launched just one month ago at the Dubai Airshow and has already racked up 259 orders valued at $95 billion, making it the largest production launch in commercial jetliner history. First deliveries of the aircraft are scheduled for 2020.
Boeing reports that the 400-seat 777-9x “will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine commercial jet in the world with the lowest operating cost per seat of any commercial airplane and no competitor in its market segment.”
Boeing reports in its 2013-2032 long-term market outlook that the industry is expected to sustain a growth rate of about 5 percent per year. Passenger traffic and air cargo traffic are expected to grow at 5 percent annually through 2032, although air cargo traffic has moderated recently, contracting 1.5 percent in 2012. Boeing stock is up more than 81 percent on the year.