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While the near-term future of the current-generation Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 programs is tinted with concern over how much to cut production rates, the widebody program that those two aircraft were supposed to all but finish off is expanding.
Bolstered by a huge order from FedEx and its selection as the new U.S. Air Force tanker platform, the Boeing 767 is in rare air: a 34-year-old widebody airliner program gearing up for a production-rate increase. The boost to 2.5 aircraft per month in late 2017 will follow closely in the contrails of the announced boost from 1.5 per month to two per month starting in the first quarter of 2016.
“During the third quarter we made the decision to increase the 767 production rate to 2.5 per month starting in 2017, driven by ongoing strong demand for the 767 freighter on top of the existing planned tanker production base,” Boeing President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in October.