Boeing to ramp up 737 MAX production amid supplier challenges

Boeing 737 MAX assembly line in Renton
VDB Photos /

Reporting on its quarterly results, Boeing has announced an increase in production of the 737 MAX narrow-body aircraft.  

In the quarter, the Commercial Airplanes division recorded 460 net orders, of which 220 were from Air India at the Paris Air Show and 39 from Riyadh Air. Additionally, a significant commitment was obtained from Ryanair, which expressed interest in acquiring up to 300 737 MAX airplanes. During the same period, the division successfully delivered 136 airplanes. The division reported a loss of $383 million. 

Boeing revealed that it plans to ramp up production from 31 to 38 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft per month. In April 2023, the company faced setbacks due to an error from its supplier Spirit AeroSystems that temporarily derailed its plans for an earlier production increase. 

“We had a solid second quarter with improved deliveries and strong free cash flow generation. We are well positioned to meet the operational and financial goals we set for this year and for the long term,” said Dave Calhoun, Boeing president and chief executive officer. “While we have more work ahead, we are making progress in our recovery and driving stability in our factories and the supply chain to meet our customer commitments. With demand strong, we’re steadily increasing our production rates across key programs and growing investments in our people, products and technologies.” 

While the commercial aircraft division is showing signs of recovery, Boeing’s defense business continues to face challenges. Three major fixed-price programs, including NASA’s Starliner capsule, the United States Air Force’s T-7 jet trainer, and the US Navy MQ-25 tanker drone, have encountered issues in the second quarter, amounting to a loss of $527 million driven by losses on some fixed-price development programs, labor instability and disruptions in the supply chain. 

Nevertheless, Boeing remains optimistic about its financial goals for the year, reiterating its intention to generate free cash flow ranging from $3 billion to $5 billion in 2023. The company aims to deliver at least 400 737 single-aisle aircraft and 70 787 Dreamliners this year. 

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