Boeing mulls another rise in 737 production rate

By Reuters
Posted March 23 at 4:17 p.m.

Boeing Co. is considering a boost in the production rate of its hot-selling 737 to 42 planes per month in 2013, beyond its latest target of 38, the company’s chief financial officer said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a J.P. Morgan conference, James Bell said Boeing was looking at its production capacity and would also assess customers’ fleet needs.

“We’ll take all that into consideration and just see after we get to the 38 if 42 or beyond is appropriate,” he said.

Boeing said in September it would increase production of the narrow-body plane to 38 per month in the second quarter of 2013.

Bell reiterated that Boeing was still deciding whether to redesign its 737 or put a new engine in the current model to deliver greater fuel efficiency. He said the company would make a decision this year.

Bell also said demand for wide-body models — the 777 and the 747 — was picking up. Boeing is flight-testing upgraded freighter and passenger versions of the 747 superjumbo.

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