Boeing has launched the next step in a broad production ramp-up by inducting the first Boeing 737NG into the assembly process at a rate of 38 aircraft per month.
The new output level increases the rate by three aircraft each month and is a step towards reaching 42 per month in 2014. Boeing also plans to open a third assembly line for the re-engined and updated 737 Max in 2015, but has not yet committed to a further rate increase beyond 42 per month.
Boeing is building commercial 737s on two lines. Line 1 is already producing 737s at a maximum rate of 21 per month. Line 2 is producing 14 aircraft per month. This will be augmented to a flow of 21 aircraft per month per line, with two "blanks" going down each line every month.
The 737NG programme is among several Boeing commercial aircraft in the midst of production rate increases. The 777 programme has been stepped up to 8.3 per month from seven. Meanwhile, the 787 programme is still moving to double production on three lines from five to 10 per month by the end of the year.