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Boeing is considering another cut to 787 Dreamliner production

Key Points
  • Boeing is considering additional cuts to production of its 787 Dreamliner, the company's higher-priced wide-body line of aircraft.
  • The aerospace giant previously said it planned to reduced 787 production this year to 12 per month from 14 per month.
  • The potential output cut shows Boeing's problems extend beyond the troubled 737 Max.
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Boeing considers further cut to Dreamliner production

Boeing is considering an additional production cut for its 787 Dreamliner wide-body jets, CNBC confirmed on Friday, possibly furthering its issues in its commercial airplanes division.

The company's juggling the potential output cut of its higher-priced long-range jets in addition to its troubled 737 Max program. Those larger planes like the 787 have grown in importance, with the Max grounded and deliveries of those jets to airlines halted.

Airlines and other customers pay the bulk of a plane's price when they take delivery, a factor that will further dent Boeing's free cash flow in the year ahead.

Boeing in October said it planned to reduce output of the 787 wide-body jets from 14 per month to 12 per month. The company's planned cut to 12 per month was scheduled to take place later this year. But Boeing sees the market for wide-body jets softening slightly, so it is considering cutting 787 production to 11 per month or 10 per month.

A Boeing ground test crew member examines a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Getty Images

"We maintain a disciplined rate management process taking into account a host of risks and opportunities. We will continue to assess the demand environment and make adjustments as appropriate in the future," Boeing said in a statement to CNBC.

Bloomberg first reported the news.

Boeing's stock slipped as much as 0.9% in trading on Friday but later rebounded to close up 1.7% at $323.05. The shares have fallen nearly 8% in the past three months as the company's 737 Max crisis has continued much longer than Boeing previously expected.

On Tuesday the company pushed back its expectation for when the 737 Max will return. Boeing told shareholders that it now doesn't expect regulators to sign off on the 737 Max until the middle of this year, more than six months later than it previously forecast. Some airlines who operate the 737 Max now forecast that they'll go another summer — their most lucrative season — without the fuel-efficient jetliners.

Boeing is also scrambling to shore up its finances and is negotiating with banks for a loan of $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

– CNBC's Phil Lebeau contributed to this report.