Why the 767's production rate is increasing

The Boeing 767, arguably the best aircraft ever designed. It has been produced 1,178 times since first launched in 1981 with still over 700 airframes in service it has proven its longevity. After almost 40 years since its first flight its production rates are only getting higher, but why?

Boeings 767 is one the finest aircraft to have ever graced our skies and with these new orders, it could still be gracing them by the late 2040s. The fact is that amidst all of Boeing’s problems currently it has a few shining lights and one of those is the continued demand for the 767. Passenger production of the aircraft stopped in the early 2010s after the 787 Dreamliners introduction however non-passenger orders of the aircraft continued to come in. In 2018 Boeing announced an increase in the aircraft’s production rate to 3 per month which is 3 more then Boeings revolutionary 737 MAX. 2 weeks ago however FedEx received it’s first 767 under the new production rate so calm it’s not a duplicate. But why? Why is an aircraft that passenger airlines are desperately trying to get rid of so attractive to others?

Firstly, the demand for air freight is increasing. Cargo airlines need more flights to carry the increased cargo that has come about during the internet shopping age. For example, more pairs of boots are being shipped from Bejing to Kansas in 2020 than in 2014. Secondly, ageing fleets. DC-10’s are getting extremely old, even for cargo airlines. One DC-10 I found on FlightRader 24 was 44 years old yet still operating for FedEx and since the fuel efficiency doesn’t really bother them and upfront price is more important (which would be cheap anyway). Yet all of this “age” thing is nothing compared to the military version of the 767. The KC-46 is the replacement for the KC-35, which was produced from 1955 to 1965 and basically the military version of the Boeing 707. To put that in perspective, the last passenger 707 to fly in the US was in 1983 by the now-defunct Trans World Airlines, this trend of 40 odd years behind for the military sees the 767 being operated until at least 2060.

In total, the orders for the 767-300 Freighter stands at 54 for FedEx while the KC-46 Miltary version order list stands at 40 for various countries, most notably the US. Time will tell how long the 767 sticks around, it could still be flying near the start of next century if orders continue the way they are going currently. It’s a testament to the design and reliability of one of Boeing’s greatest aircraft.


One of FedEx’s many 767-300 Freighters full image credit

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Even though I’m an Airbus fan, there’s something about the B767 that I just find… Utterly beautiful.

Happy to hear that the freighter version will still be around the skies in 2040.

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And this is why I think an update to the B767 is primarily the thing Boeing needs currently. I think that the 767 is a very successful aircraft, and I think that a new-more efficient variant would be the way to go.

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The B767 and B757 were always great aircraft!

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I like how ABX did their 767 fleet. That bright red tail with the curved A in it is wow

220px-ABX_Air_Boeing_767-232(BDSF)_N747AX_MIA_2013-2-12
Source: Wikipedia

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The 767 is just… beautiful. It has it’s own distinct feeling to fly in, and especially since airlines are starting to retrofit their 767s, its just boosting the greatness of it. Long live the 767! ❤

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ANA needs 767 🤔

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The aircraft that just won’t die. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the 767. In fact, I think the reason why it’s so popular is due to the fact that there is no comparable freighter in its class, big enough to haul lots of cargo while operating on short and medium haul routes efficiently. The A330 tried but the order numbers don’t come close to the 767. Time will tell how long this aircraft will still be in production, perhaps until the introduction of a 787-8 based freighter? 🤷🏾‍♂️

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Give it 20 years until that happens, minimum.

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And 20 more years for new 767s

That’s pretty cool. The Boeing 767 has been around for a while and can be considered less fuel efficient than others similar to it, but it still has a great safety record. Like the Boeing 747, it had its glory days, but at some point they are all going to be retired for newer more efficient planes. When they go it will still definitely be sad, they served the world well. Although I did think it would happen sooner rather than later, I was expecting for a while that Boeing would invent a new plane that was built to move cargo rather than passengers, one that can replace the fedex’s and UPS’s antiquated gas guzzling fleet of 767s and McDonnell douglas.

Boeing needs to make the 767X of a variants (-200 -300 -400). I am a firm believer that a remade 767 would be the solution to their middle of the market problems as well as helping some airlines with long haul.

I hope this beauty never leaves the skies. I also miss the 767-200 which there are only a few flying today. I’ve actually seen one in person!

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Same, I miss the days of the American 767-200, I used to fly on it quite frequently and sicne it retired, TXKF only gets 1 widebody now.

Huh, very interesting. I think I’m going to look into it more… 👍

Try the 757 or L1011. Before their time really

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What about the L1011 or 747? Or the DeHavilland Comet?

image

As @FBWFTW said,

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My bad @Mattheus I certainly should’ve included the 74. The L10 with it’s early next gen tech and the 75 with the amazing range/right size capacity to open new routes were the ones that popped into my head first.

I will concede the point that the 767 is arguably the most comfortably laid out widebody plane (next to the A330) with its wide 18-18.5” seats at 2-3-2. In fact, once the pax 767’s are gone the A330 & A330neo will probably be the only remaining bastion of comfort for couples and families traveling together in this day and age with the standard 18” 2-4-2 seating. Couples by the window and families across the middle if you will. Boeing certainly has its work cut out to compete here.

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Fake news let me introduce you to the 757!

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