Boeing will wait until it reaches its peak production rate of 38 737s per month in 2013 before deciding to push to 42 per month or higher, says the company's chief financial officer.
"We'll get to 38 first, we'll go back and evaluate where we are and if the demand remains strong, we will obviously consider looking at doing that," Boeing CFO James Bell told attendees at the JP Morgan Aviation, Transportation and Defense conference.
Boeing plans to reach an output of 38 737s per month by the second quarter of 2013 at its Renton, Washington facility, the highest rate the narrowbody assembly line will have achieved since it entered service in 1968. The airframer first plans to achieve 35 per month by early 2012.
Bell says the sustainability of current demand, capital investment considerations at Boeing and within the supply chain, as well as making available earlier delivery slots to US customers will be factors in pushing rates beyond 38 per month.
At today's rates, Boeing has about seven years of sustained production across all of its product lines, says Bell.
Boeing is currently moving from two to 10 787s per month by the end of 2012, seven to 8.3 777s per month, 1.5 to two 767s per month in mid-2011, and 1.5 to two 747s per month in 2012.