After much hinting, Boeing on Thursday announced plans to increase 737 production rate to 52 a month in 2018.
The aerospace giant already turns out 42 a month at its Renton plant and plans to go to 47 a month in 2017.
Boeing’s long-term forecast of air traffic volumes and commercial airplane demand projects a need for more than 25,000 single-aisle airplanes over the next 20 years, worth $2.56 trillion total market value.
“For over a decade we have seen resilient demand for the 737, and a rate increase to 52 per month reflects the appetite for airplanes like the 737 MAX and Next-Generation 737,” Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a news release. “Our thorough analysis tells us the single-aisle market continues to expand and is the fastest growing, most dynamic segment of the market.”