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Jumbo jet: Boeing confirms it will stop making 747 aircraft from 2022

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The Boeing 747 aircraft was launched in the 1970s, revolutionising air travel thanks to its 400-seat capaci
The Boeing 747 aircraft was launched in the 1970s, revolutionising air travel thanks to its 400-seat capaci   -   Copyright  Michael Probst/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.
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Boeing has today confirmed it will stop making its iconic jumbo jet aircraft from 2022.

The move, hastened by the COVID-inspired travel downturn, comes after the likes of British Airways and Qantas flew their 747 models for the final time.

The planemaker made the announcement as it reported bigger than expected quarterly losses on Wednesday.

It suffered a $2.4 billion (€2 billion) second-quarter loss as the pandemic hammered the aviation sector.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called 2020 the worst year in the history of aviation and said on Tuesday air traffic will not return to pre-coronavirus levels until at least 2024.

Boeing's chief executive Dave Calhoun said in a message to employees the company "will have to further assess the size of our workforce", according to AFP news agency.

The US company said it would reduce 10 per cent of its staff earlier this year.

Calhoun also said production on its marquee 787 and 777 jet programmes would be cut.

The company said the 747, which was launched in the 1970s and revolutionised air travel thanks to its 400-seat capacity, would be phased out by 2022.

Meanwhile, production for the 737 MAX, which has been grounded since March 2019 following two fatal crashes, will be ramped up more slowly than under a previous plan.

Calhoun said the company measures ensured "some critical stability" for Boeing in the near-term as it takes "tough but necessary steps to adapt for new market realities".