In response to heightened demand for airliners, Boeing plans to increase production of its 777 in 2022 from two to three aircraft per month. On January 26, 2022, Boeing’s Chief Financial Officer Brian West disclosed the intended production rate hike. He also stated that Boeing was looking for customers for yet-to-be-launched 777X freighter. The move reflects rebounding optimism by Boeing following several years of pulling back production of wide-body airliners. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing had been building five 777s per month. But in 2020 the company disclosed two rate cuts – first to three jets monthly, then to two. Boeing delivered 24 777s in 2021.
Boeing has also curtailed 787 production in response to unresolved quality issues and is wrapping up 747 production. Boeing’s 767F output has remained high thanks to its popularity with air shippers. Now, Boeing is bringing back the 777, responding to increasing freighter demand. Speaking during Boeing’s 2022 earnings call, he noted that the company took a record number of orders for freighters in 2021. During the year, it finalised deals for 84 new cargo aircraft and contracts to convert more than 100 passenger aircraft to air freighters. Brian West did not specify as to when the hike in the rate of production of the 777 will take effect; but says Boeing will deliver roughly as many 777s in 2022 as in 2021. He also said “Boeing is currently offering the freighter version of the 777X airplane to customers”. Meanwhile, Boeing continues advancing its first 777X variant and the 777-9, through certification with the Federal Aviation Administration. Boeing remains committed to deliver the first 777-9 in late 2023, he added that “The airplane continues to perform in line with our commitments to customers.”