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Boeing May Further Accelerate 737 Production

Boeing has given a further signal that it is getting close to a decision on whether to further accelerate output of the 737, which could lift production to 52 a month.

"We continue to see very strong demand," Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith said at an investor conference, speaking about Boeing's commercial airliner business.

"In particular on the 737 there is more pressure on the upside, and we will address that in the months to come," he said.

Boeing is currently making forty-two 737s a month, a rate it achieved earlier this year. It has announced plans to lift that rate to 47 a month in 2017, and has told suppliers that demand is sufficient to go to 52 a month later in the month.

A Boeing spokesman said the company constantly evaluates its production rates but declined to comment further.

Boeing's Renton, Washington, factory is preparing to build the 737 MAX, an updated version of the 737 that has new engines, lower fuel consumption and is scheduled to enter service in 2017.

(Reuters)