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Boeing to Boost 737 Jet Production 24 Percent by 2017

Boeing Co. plans to speed the monthly production tempo of its best-selling 737 jets by 24 percent to 47 a month by 2017, the highest rate ever for the world’s largest planemaker.

Boeing, based in Chicago, is on a production tear. Last week, the company announced plans to speed production of its 787 Dreamliner to 14 a month by the end of the decade. The 737 program announced today will build more than 560 of its narrow-body jetliner a year, increasing output by about 50 percent since 2010. It’s also ramped up production on the wide-bodied 777.

The faster production tempo will help Boeing more quickly reap the cash benefits of a large backlog of jet orders. The planemaker currently has more than 3,400 unfilled orders for 737 models that include its Next Generation series and the new Max variants expected to debut by 2017.

“We’re taking this step to make sure our airplanes get into the hands of our customers when they need them,” Beverly Wyse, a Boeing vice president and general manager of the 737 program, said in a statement.

Boeing said it currently builds 737s at rate of 38 planes a month at its factory in Renton, Washington, and is in the process of increasing production to 42 a month by the first half of 2014.

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