Boeing has achieved a production rate of 35 Next-Generation 737s a month at its factory in Renton, Wash., the company announced today. AWAS Aviation Services, which holds a contract to lease the first airplane built at the new rate—a 737-800—to Norwegian Air Shuttle, signed the delivery papers this morning and Boeing expected the airplane to fly away imminently.
Employees will concentrate on stabilizing the production rate at 35 a month, the company added, while it carries out investments to raise the rate to 38 a month in the second quarter of next year and 42 a month in the first half of 2014.
Leaders of the 737 program acknowledged employees’ contributions to achieving the record rate at an employee celebration at the Renton factory today.
“It’s because of the focus and dedication of 737 employees that we’ve reduced waste in our production system and identified opportunities to further increase our productivity,” said Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of the 737 program.
“The first airplane at the 35-a-month production pace rolled out of the factory the smoothest ever. Only eight jobs were completed outside our production sequence out of thousands and we experienced only three part shortages during production.”
The program also celebrated securing production of the 737 MAX at the Renton factory. “The capability of this team played heavily into the decision to keep the 737 MAX here in Renton,” Wyse added.