The Boeing Co. (BA) announced on Thursday afternoon that the company would raise production of its 737 family of single aisle planes to 47 new aircraft a month (564 a year) in 2017. The company currently builds 38 planes a month at its plant in Renton, Washington plant and that number will grow to 42 planes a month in the first half of 2014.
Boeing said it is laying a “foundation” for the transition to its new 737 MAX aircraft which are scheduled for first delivery in the third quarter of 2017. The 737 is arguably the single most popular airplane ever built. Boeing claims it has built and has orders for a total of 11,200 of the planes with 3,400 orders still to be filled.
ALSO READ: The Most Dangerous States in America
Ever since the troubles the company had getting its 787 Dreamliner into service -- and the problems that have arisen since it began delivering the planes -- one has to wonder if the company has a chance of keeping to its schedule for the 737 MAX. Last week Boeing announced an order worth $20.7 billion for 200 of its 737 MAX aircraft from China’s three largest airlines.
The competitor to the 737 MAX is the Airbus 320neo which is scheduled for delivered a full two years earlier than the new Boeing plane. If Airbus can deliver a hot new product on time and on budget, Boeing could have a difficult time keeping all those orders on its books.