Boeing progresses with 737 Max design; still mulling facility location

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Boeing is still mulling where it will build its new re-engined 737, the so-called 737 Max, but is progressing with the airliner's design.

"I think we're still in the process, still thinking through where we would produce it," said Boeing chairman, president and CEO Jim McNerney today during a third-quarter earnings conference call.

With respect to basic design, McNerney said: "I think we've got pretty good fidelity on what the offering is and we're finalising that."

He added that Boeing is "happy" with the progress it has made in defining details of the design and the reaction of its customers.

In August Boeing formally launched the 737 Max with nearly 500 commitments. The company is working to finalise those agreements and is having "extensive talks" with other would-be customers of the type, according to McNerney.

Boeing, meanwhile, is seeing continued "strong interest" for its current-generation 737NG in addition to the 737 Max.

"The NG remains an answer for the productivity needs of airlines compared to the older fleet they are working with. I'm hopeful with the signs I'm seeing there'll be a nice bridge from the NG to the Max. We are in a sweet spot now where we are seeing demand for both," said McNerney.