Boeing has announced further plans to ramp up production of its single-aisle B737 aircraft.
The US planemaker currently produces 38 B737s per month, and will increase the rate to 42 per month in the first half of 2014. Then from 2017, production will accelerate to 47 aircraft per month.
Once implemented, Boeing will be producing more than 560 B737s per year, marking a near 50% increase in output since 2010.
“We’re taking this step to make sure our airplanes get into the hands of our customers when they need them,” said Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of the 737 programme. “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.”
Boeing is currently finalising the design of the B737 MAX, the new fuel-efficient version of the single-aisle aircraft, with the first delivery scheduled for the third quarter of 2017.
To date, 266 customers have placed more than 11,200 orders for the B737, including more than 1,600 orders for the B737 MAX. The increased production rate will help Boeing clear a backlog of 3,400 unfilled B737 orders.