Boeing executives and more than 500 employees, suppliers, union representatives and government officials joined China Southern Airlines to celebrate the unveiling of the 4,000th Next-Generation 737 at a special event on April 13 at Boeing Field in Seattle.
The 4,000th Boeing 737NG off the 737 production line in Renton, Washington will be delivered next week to China Southern Airlines, which is headquartered in Guangzhou.
China Southern Airlines is commemorating its own milestone with the delivery, as the aircraft will be the 75th Boeing 737 delivered directly to the airline.
The carrier has an additional 45 Boeing 737-700s and 737-800s on order. China Southern Airlines is the largest airline in China and operates a fleet of 450 commercial aircraft, making it the sixth-largest carrier worldwide, according to Boeing.
More Boeing 737s have been produced than any other commercial jetliner in history and the 737 program is now producing aircraft at Boeing-record rates.
The gap between each Next-Generation 737 milestone delivery is shrinking. It took Boeing three years and one month between deliveries of the 2,000th and 3,000th 737, while the gap between the 3,000th and 4,000th delivery was just two years and eight months.
With 737 production rates increasing incrementally to 42 aircraft a month in the first half of 2014, the gap will continue to close, Boeing says.
The Boeing 737NG family has won orders for more than 6,600 aircraft and has a diverse backlog exceeding 2,600 aircraft.
With more than 5,550 aircraft in service, the Boeing 737 family represents more than a quarter of the total worldwide fleet of large commercial jets flying today. At least 359 airlines in 114 countries fly 737s.