A Boeing 737 Max 8 presented Tuesday to Southwest Airlines is the 10,000th 737 produced by the company. Boeing celebrated the aircraft’s legacy at its factory in Renton, Washington, where hundreds of employees and customer representatives helped commemorate the milestone. The company plans to increase production of the 737 from its current rate of 47 airplanes per month to 52 per month later this year.
“The Max is just a continuation of this great family,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Kevin McAllister. “It wins in every category. It wins in cost, fuel burn efficiency, range, passenger comfort, and efficiency.”
Southwest Airlines has been a longtime customer of the 737 and almost one out of every ten 737s in operation belongs to the Southwest fleet. “We have been the launch customer for all of Boeing’s new 737 series aircraft for more than 30 years,” said Southwest Airlines vice president of maintenance operations Landon Nitschke. “No airline utilizes this aircraft more, and it is our tried and true workhorse.”
More than 22 billion people have flown on the aircraft and a 737 takes off or lands every one and a half seconds. More than 4,600 of the narrowbodies remain on order backlog. “We have two more milestones coming our way in the very near future, with the Max 9 in its first delivery and the Max 7 in its first flight to mark a great family that keeps getting better,” said McAllister.