Boeing Commercial Airplanes will increase its production rate for the 737 program to 47 jets per month by 2017, which will result in more than 560 planes built annually. It’s an increase of nearly 50% since 2010, according to Boeing. Earlier this year Boeing increased the 737 output rate, it announced plans to increase output from 38 jets/month to 42 jets/month during the first half of 2014.
The 737 is a narrow-body airliner for short- to medium-range flights, typically carrying 110 to 210 passengers. According to the OEM, it is the most popular commercial airliner of all time. The current mode, the 737 Next Generation, or 737NG, is the third generation of the series. It will be replaced by the forthcoming 737 MAX in 2017, a more fuel-efficient version for which Boeing reports it has over 1,600 orders.
Boeing stated that deliveries of the first 737 MAX jet is on track for third quarter of 2017.
The 737NG has been in production since 1996, and Boeing said in 2010 it would increase production to 34 airplanes/month in order to fill outstanding demand.
Production rates are adjusted in order to match variations in demand, but because production planning and build sequences, the jet builders’ order books are sometimes filled for years in advance.
"We're taking this step to make sure our airplanes get into the hands of our customers when they need them," stated Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager for the 737 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Our employees and our suppliers have successfully increased the production rate to unmatched levels over the last three years. This increase will lay a solid foundation as we bridge into production on the 737 MAX.
"With the continuing strong demand we are seeing in the market for the 737, we expect to keep employees busy in Renton making this amazing airplane for years to come," according to Wyse.
According to Boeing, the rate increase will have no significant impact on its 2013 financial results.