Boeing to boost rate of 737 production

MINNEAPOLIS – The Boeing Co. said on Thursday it will increase production of its workhorse 737 to 38 per month.

Boeing currently makes the planes at a rate of just more than one a day and was planning to speed that up.

The company said it will make 38 of the planes every month by the second quarter of 2013 because of strong customer demand.

Just a few weeks ago a Boeing executive said the company was thinking about making as many as 40 of the planes per month. On Thursday, Boeing spokesman Jim Proulx said there is still upward pressure on the production rate.

“We’ll continue to study our ability to move beyond 38. That’s not necessarily near-term though,” he said.

Boeing said it made the decision after consulting with customers as well as suppliers, who need to be able to increase their own production to match Boeing’s.

Boeing said the increase would not affect its 2010 financial results.

Boeing has orders for more than 2,000 of the planes, which it makes in larger number than any of its other commercial jets. Of Boeing’s 278 orders this year, 250 are for the 737.