Reports have surfaced that manufacturing giant Boeing is aiming to almost double production of its 737 Max aircraft by the end of next year.
Insider sources told Reuters that the Seattle-based firm has outlined initial plans to increase production by around 47% by the end of 2023. The choice of boosting output of the 737 is likely a reflection of the aircraft’s success across the market.
A spokesperson declined to comment on Boeing’s production plans and pointed to previously made statements.
Short and medium-haul aircraft demand growing
Despite production being halted on several occasions throughout the pandemic, manufacturers are experiencing growing demand for short and medium-haul aircraft, perhaps due to the quicker recovery of domestic travel compared with its international counterpart.
Boeing currently produces 27 of the aircraft each month and hopes to increase this to 47 a month. Before the 737 Max groundings in 2019, 52 of the jets were being produced each month. Rival Airbus, meanwhile, has announced a production target of 65 a month by mid-2023 for its A320 class.
In recent weeks, and likely to have influenced these new production targets, Boeing has secured several noteworthy orders or revisions of existing orders.
Alaska Airlines announced this week that in addition to the 737 Max 9s it has on order, it has ordered additional Max 8s and Max 10s. Southwest Airlines has stated it wants a minimum of 271 MAX 7s and 135 MAX 8s. Meanwhile, the world’s largest airline, American Airlines, has committed to 130 737 MAXs. Major lessors are also showing strong interest, with Air Lease Corporation announcing a recent order of 50.
As Boeing gradually rebuilds the reputation of its 737 Max airliner, it can expect to see its number of orders swell even further. With almost 5,000 of the aircraft on order across the globe, there certainly won’t be any downturn in work at its Washington-based factory any time soon.
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