Boeing has announced plans to increase the monthly production rate of its Boeing 737 MAX family by mid-summer 2023.
Currently, the manufacturer is pushing out 31 aircraft per month and now intends to push out 38 per month by mid-2023.
The idea behind it, as said by Boeing, is to increase the positive cash flow into the company.
It has also been reported by Bloomberg, that Boeing has been briefing its customers about the intended increase in production.
With this in mind, it could be the reason why airlines like Ryanair are re-igniting talks with the US manufacturer sighting a shorter wait time between placing an order and receiving the first plane from the order.
Before the 737 MAX groundings that began in March 2019 and ended in November 2020 in the US, the production rate of the MAX was 52 per month.
This shows that Boeing is looking to hit this previous monthly high as the manufacturer recovers from a significantly turbulent couple of years.
Adding to this official announcement, both Stan Deal, the Executive Vice President of Boeing, and the Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Commercial Planes said in a statement in March 2023, that production will be ramping up “very soon”.
The MAX is strongly recovering
Last year in 2022, Boeing reported its first profit for the year since 2018, rounding up $3.5 billion. However, this is far from 2018’s profits, as in that year, they earned $15.3 billion, meaning they have a long way to go.
Despite this, Boeing has seen a helpful boost to its market share with the re-introduction of the type in China finally being approved in January 2023.
China Southern was the first Chinese airline to return the aircraft to regular operations and since then, 8 other airlines have followed.
This has seen a significant uptick in 737 MAX usage and as such has boosted cash flow for Boeing.
In addition, it also means that airlines in China will now have the ability to confidently place new or additional orders for the type.
Combining China and the production increase together, Boeing could be looking at returning to its former profitable glory days fairly soon.
On top of this, it is also worth noting that Boeing delivered a total of 374 737 MAX aircraft last year, up from 241 in 2021.
Overall, it appears the MAX is recovering extremely well, with new orders being placed and now all countries have lifted the ban on the type. Plus with production rates increasing and deliveries soaring, the tables have completely turned for this once-unsafe aircraft.
MAX 7 and MAX 10 still holding Boeing back
Despite the recent success of the 737 MAX, there is still one large factor holding Boeing back in two places:
- Further production increase
- Further profitability
This factor is of course the MAX 7 and MAX 10 variants of the family, which are both yet to receive certification.
These two variants have accumulated numerous amounts of orders in the 100s, however, none can be built or delivered due to a lack of certification.
Although, Stan Deal has previously stated the MAX 7 will be certified in 2023. But no estimated certification for the MAX 10 has been released yet.
With some level of uncertainty surrounding these two variants, it will be interesting to see how the future of the program progresses.
But in the meantime, customers and Boeing can look forward to increased profits and production rate from the type overall this year.