Boeing is still expecting to deliver 400 to 450 737 aircraft over the course of this year, and is planning to reach a monthly production rate of 38 aircraft from the current 31.
The US airframer reiterated its delivery expectations as it turned in a first-quarter operating loss of $615 million for the commercial aircraft division, on higher revenues of $6.7 billion – a figure which reflects the 130 commercial aircraft deliveries for the three months to 31 March.
“We are progressing through recent supply chain disruptions but remain confident in the goals we set for this year, as well as for the longer term,” insists Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun.
Boeing benefited from higher numbers of 737 and 787 handovers, although “customer considerations” relating to 787s offset the revenues.
While it acknowledges that near-term production of 737s will be affected by inspections and rework, following the discovery of a manufacturing process issue in the aft fuselage of certain aircraft, the airframer is maintaining is projection of 400-450 deliveries.
“The supplier master schedule remains unchanged including anticipated production rate increases, which will result in higher inventory levels,” says the company.
It aims to increase 737 output to 38 aircraft per month later this year and reach 50 per month over 2025-26. Boeing also intends to lift monthly production of 787s – currently at three aircraft – to five in late 2023 and, in 2025-26, reach 10.
In a letter to employees, Calhoun says the company has made “important progress” in its recovery and remains “on the right path” to restoring its financial and operational strength.
“That said, we have more work ahead to further improve performance and drive stability in our operations and within the supply chain,” he states.
Referring to the 737 issue, he says it poses ”no immediate safety of flight concern” and that the company will “work diligently” to ensure aircraft meet the company’s standards prior to delivery.
Calhoun says he is “proud of the team” for ”immediately and transparently” bringing the matter forward with the regulator and Boeing’s customers. “This is how we continuously improve,” he adds.