Just over a year after being allowed to fly again, the 737 is already motivating Boeing to expand its production. Reuters sources said the planemaker could reach a production rate of 47 jets per month by the end of 2023 – currently it is just 27 aircraft.
The plan, according to the agency, is to expand production to 31 monthly aircraft in mid-2022, raise the average to 38 planes in the first half of 2023 and reach 47 monthly jets in the second half of next year.
The forecast, while high, would mean five fewer planes than was set in early 2019, just before the 737 was grounded due to safety concerns.
Boeing still handles a stockpile of more than 330 jets produced during the grounding months, but which are expected to be delivered by the end of 2023.
The optimism, according to Reuters, comes from the strong increase in demand for medium-haul jets. Rival Airbus, for example, has plans to produce 65 A320neo family aircraft from summer 2023, but the flagship model has been the larger-capacity A321neo.
The 737 has more orders for the mid-capacity MAX 8 version, while the MAX 10 and MAX 7 order backlogs grow.
The plans, however, may run into potential bottlenecks in the supply chain caused by the pandemic.