New York Boeing Co. will speed up production plans for its 777 and 747 models in anticipation of greater demand from commercial airlines.
Both are wide-body planes capable of carrying more than 300 passengers and flying longer routes. Several Asian airlines have ordered the planes, which are also more fuel-efficient than other aircraft models.
Asian and Latin American carriers have led the way for a surprisingly strong recovery, while improvement at U.S. carriers has lagged. The industry’s leading trade group, the International Air Transport Association, cut its 2010 loss forecast in half for global airlines to $2.8 billion. The group also lowered its 2009 loss estimate to $9.4 billion from $11 billion because of the year-end rally.
Many airlines across the globe reported losses in 2009 as travel demand slumped. Boeing, the world’s second-largest aircraft maker behind Airbus, said Friday that it sees the airline industry recovering this year, followed by a return to profitability in 2011. That should lead to demand for new aircraft in 2012 and beyond, Boeing said.