Boeing is increasing the production rate for its Next-Generation 737 to 42 aircraft a month from the first half of 2014, expecting to build on average two 737s each workday and nearly 500 737NGs each year.
Jim Albaugh, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ president and CEO, says the market outlook for single-aisle jetliners is strong and growing.
“Customers are demanding our Next-Generation 737 at an unprecedented rate,” says Albaugh. “New performance improvements and enhanced passenger comfort features have driven home the value equation for our customers.”
Albaugh notes that since its introduction in May 2010, the new Boeing Sky Interior is being specified on more than 80 per cent of new 737 orders.
Beverly Wyse, 737 program vice president and general manager, says the goal with the new Boeing 737NG production-rate increase is to continue meeting customer demand with an innovative aircraft that provides strong performance and value.
“We have worked very closely with our supply chain and our world-class manufacturing team to ensure we can increase rate in an efficient and responsible fashion,” says Wyse. “We believe that many of the capital investments and production system changes made for 38 airplanes per month will already position us to build 42. We are very well situated for this rate increase.”
The 737 program currently produces 31.5 aircraft per month and expects to go to 35 per month in early 2012, 38 per month in the second quarter of 2013, and then to 42 per month in the first half of 2014.
Boeing says the new rate increase announced on June 15, 2011 and to go into effect in the first half of 2014 is not expected to have a material impact on the company’s 2011 financial results.
The Boeing 737 family is the best-selling jet airliner in history. Since 1967, more than 280 customers have placed orders for more than 8,880 examples of the single-aisle aircraft – including orders for more than 5,750 of the current, Next-Generation 737 family. Boeing is now managing an order backlog of more than 2,100 737NGs.
Competitor Airbus is also increasing production of its A320 family, which is the main rival to the 737NG family. Currently, Airbus is assembling A320s at a rate of 36 a month and the company plans to increase the rate to 42 aircraft a month in the fourth quarter of 2012. Airbus is doing so in order to deal with a backlog of 2,400 aircraft and continuing order momentum that has increased since the Europe-based manufacturer launched the re-engined A320neo program in December 2010.