Boeing will raise production yet again on its 737 line, the company announced today, taking the rate from the previously announced 34 airplanes per month to 35 in early 2012. Boeing had already announced an increase last month, from 31.5 to 34 airplanes, in an effort to keep pace with strong demand for the single-aisle workhorses. At the time it indicated that it planned to consider the possibility of further increases, and, according to Boeing, today's announcement acknowledges the long-term growth in the market segment and continued pressure to raise output.
“Our customers continue to show their preference for the Next-Generation 737 by exercising order options as well as by placing new orders,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh. “We've managed our current backlog efficiently, and increasing rate is the product of our comprehensive planning and preparation. We will continue to monitor demand as we go forward.”
Boeing and its suppliers plan to prepare for the rate increase over the next 18 months, assessing readiness and ensuring an orderly transition from the current 31.5 airplanes per month. Boeing said it does not expect the rate increase to materially affect 2010 financial results.
Boeing expects to deliver its first 737 Sky Interior, inspired by the cabin designed for the new 787 Dreamliner, in October. The company also continues to work on a package of performance improvements expected to cut fuel consumption by 2 percent by 2012.