Faced with a lack of new orders, Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) has reportedly firmed up plans to close its B747 production line in about two years time once all outstanding orders are completed, Bloomberg said.

The manufacturer did not confirm the development and said only that it would continue to make the "right decisions" to keep the line "healthy and meet customer needs".

"At a build rate of 0.5 airplanes per month, the 747-8 program has more than two years of production ahead of it in order to fulfil our current customer commitments," Boeing said.

However, according to an industry source quoted by Reuters, the manufacturer has already concluded agreements with suppliers to deliver the last B747 assembly sets.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Boeing has 16 outstanding orders for B747-8(F)s (13 from UPS Airlines (5X, Louisville Int'l) and three from Volga-Dnepr Airlines (VI, Ulyanovsk Vostochny)). The manufacturer and Volga-Dnepr are involved in a court dispute over the delivery of the freighters. One unit for Korean Air (KE, Seoul Incheon) is undergoing completion.

While Boeing has no firm orders left for the passenger variant B747-8, two units not taken up by Transaero Airlines (UN, Moscow Vnukovo) are currently being refitted as new presidential aircraft for the United States Air Force. A further B747-8(BBJ) for a private customer is also awaiting delivery.