Boeing has announced preliminary plans to boost the production of its fourth-generation narrow-body airliner to approximately 47 per month by the end of 2023.
This comes as the Washington based Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) division of Boeing looks to boost its recovery from successive losses due to successive crises.
Before the increase, what were Boeing’s numbers?
As of January 2022, BCA had been producing 27 of the 737 Max jets a month. According to Chief Financial Officer Brian West, the manufacturer is on track to produce 31 of the aircraft per month “fairly soon”.
Motivations behind the increase
The American airline manufacturer carries the incentive to meet newfound demand for passenger aircraft, especially as the aviation industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic slump.
Airbus has also been met with this increase in demand, motivating Boeing to get ahead of its biggest market competitor.
The European airline manufacturer has set a production target of 65 a month by Summer 2023 for its A320-family narrow-body.
Boeing is also seeking to bounce back financially from the global grounding of the 335 737 Max relatively recently. The jet was involved in two fatal crashes that were found to be the consequence of the jet’s failed MCAS system.
Boeing stated in late January that they were still working to clear the inventory of 335 737 Max aeroplanes, estimating that most would be delivered by the end of 2023.
Supply chain woes?
It is also arguable that, with this announcement, Boeing is laying the groundwork to nearly double production by the end of 2023. But issues surrounding supply chain constraints may hinder such aspirations.
Doubts are brewing regarding the ability of the supply chain to meet aggressive production increase plans by airliners, particularly in Europe.
As a consequence of labour and material shortages, issues regarding the increase of air cargo costs and weakened balance sheets following the COVID-19 pandemic, it may not be as smooth-sailing for Boeing to achieve its goals.
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