Boeing eyes new 737 MAX output jump in late 2022
Published: May 23, 2021 07:33 PM
Planemaker Boeing Co has drawn up preliminary plans for a fresh sprint in 737 MAX output to as many as 42 jets a month in fall 2022, industry sources said, in a bid to extend its recovery from overlapping safety and COVID-19 crises.

The plans would lift output beyond an early 2022 target of 31 a month, which the sources said Boeing aims to reach in March. But implementation will depend on a cocktail of factors including demand, the uncertain capacity of some suppliers and Boeing's success in reducing a surplus of jets already built. 

In April, Boeing reaffirmed plans to raise MAX output from an unspecified "low" rate to 31 a month by early 2022.

Shares in the planemaker rose as much as 3.7 percent in early trading, outpacing a slightly firmer US market.

Production was halted in 2019 after Boeing's fastest-selling model was grounded in the wake of fatal crashes. It resumed in May 2020 at a fraction of its original pace while Boeing navigated regulatory approvals and a fragile supply chain. It is still awaiting the go-ahead from China after winning Western approvals late in 2020. Chief Executive Dave Calhoun has warned that the timing of remaining approvals will influence the shape of Boeing's final production ramp-up.

As an interim step, Boeing hopes to speed monthly output from single digits now to about 26 a month at the end of 2021 at its Renton factory near Seattle, two of the sources said.

Higher production could inject much-needed casP16h into the supply chain and reduce Boeing's component costs.