Boeing Co. slows 747-8 production on weak demand

Boeing Co. slows 747-8 production on weak demand
In this June 13, 2012 photo, workers on Boeing's 747-8 assembly line work inside the nose cone of a plane, in Everett, Wash.
CHICAGO - Boeing says it will slow down production of its superjumbo 747-8 because of weak demand.

Boeing builds two of the planes every month. It's slowing that rate to one and three-quarters per month.

Boeing had warned that a slowdown was possible if demand didn't improve. Boeing has orders for 64 of the planes still to be built, including freighter and passenger versions.

Boeing first delivered the revamped 747-8 in 2011. The freighter version received the most orders. But the size of the passenger version is midway between the larger Airbus A380, which has been on the market longer, and the smaller Boeing 777, which is popular with airlines. That has left little room for the 747-8.

Boeing Co. says the slower pace of production won't have a significant financial impact.

In a prepared statement, the company said it will continue to monitor market conditions and their effect on production rates moving forward. The company expects long-term average growth in the air cargo market to resume in 2014, and forecasts a demand for 790 large airplanes, such as the 747-8 Intercontinental, to be delivered worldwide over the next 20 years.