Is Boeing Actually Making 38 737s Per Month?

By Spyros Georgilidakis | February 16, 2024

The FAA limited how many 737s Boeing will be making each month, for a while. But Boeing’s current actual output is lower than the target.

Late in January, the FAA allowed airlines to restart operations with 737 MAX-9s with mid-cabin door plugs. But at the same time, the regulator limited Boeing’s 737 production to “its current level”, of 38 aircraft.

Photo: Nick Dean, CC BY-SA 2.0

However, aviation analysts quickly pointed out that Boeing isn’t actually making 38 737s per month. This January, Boeing only made 27 aircraft in total, of which 25 were 737 MAX single-aisles. Clearly, the effects of the Alaska MAX-9 blow-out affected Boeing’s production.

But more importantly, Boeing wasn’t making anything like 38 737s for much of last year, either. The manufacturer hasn’t come close to this monthly rate since last summer. However, this had a lot to do with the mis-drilled holes in the rear pressure bulkhead issue, that Boeing discovered last August.

Is Boeing Actually Making 38 737s Per Month?

Boeing Won’t Be Making More Than 38 737s For Some Time

Delays with Spirit AeroSystems and other suppliers also affected how many 737s Boeing was making last year. This seems to suggest that, even without the FAA’s intervention, Boeing would take some time to reach and surpass the 38 aircraft limit.

Image: Boeing

However, the latest news is that Boeing’s current goal is only to stabilize its monthly 737 output to 38 jets. And this won’t happen until the second half of the year, says Boeing. This is in part because the manufacturer periodically has to stop making 737s, as it improves quality checks in its Renton assembly site and elsewhere.

Stabilizing this rate will also allow suppliers to catch up, building back missing inventory. However, Boeing’s suppliers still have guidance to make parts for a production rate as high as 42 737s per month.

Is Boeing Actually Making 38 737s Per Month?
Boeing’s 737 factory in Renton. Photo: Jelson25, CC BY-SA 3.0

Until the MAX-9 blowout, Boeing has been avoiding building up too much of its own inventory, to keep costs down. Building up some inventory now, appears to be another shift in Boeing’s practices, as it tries to convince regulators, customers, AND its suppliers, that it is ready for key changes.


1 comment

  • I hope FAA and NTSB will shut down boeing for ever, boeing can not still be allowed to play with safety and peoples lives, money can not replace one lost human life

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