Over the past few years, Boeing and Airbus have continuously invested in the development of technologically advanced versions of their Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 narrow-body aircraft families. And this is no coincidence: more and more carriers respond positively to these projects. So it's not surprising that Boeing announced the opening of a fourth production line for the 737 MAX in Everett the day before.
The choice of Everett as the location of the additional “conveyor” justified by the fact that this plant in Washington state is becoming less busy with the end of production of the Boeing 747 and the postponement of the Boeing 787 project. In addition to the three existing production lines in Renton — currently only two — the opening of the fourth line allows the American manufacturer to increase the production of a family of narrow-body aircraft.
In 2022, Boeing was producing an average of 20 to 25 Boeing 737s per month, falling short of its target quota of 31. However, Boeing took advantage of the 737s it built during the ban on that type of aircraft, thus managing to not only meet but surpass the target of 357 aircraft. However, this is still noticeably less than the Airbus A320 family delivered in 2022: 516.
The rapid increase in Boeing 737 MAX production reflects Boeing's forecasts for aircraft demand over the next twenty years. In its Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) 2022-2041, Boeing expects the single-aisle aircraft market to expand the most with a projected growth of 50%.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes management has already started to notify suppliers, customers and unions. Almost every call emphasizes that safety and quality will be top priorities during the commissioning of the new plant.
So, the Boeing 737 MAX production line in Everett will take the place where the Boeing 787 assembly shop used to be. However, work on the 787 project continues, and some aircraft currently stored in Everett need a fuselage rebuild. They will be moved to the empty assembly bay of the Boeing 747.
Most of the employees working on the Boeing 737 MAX project will continue to work in Renton, where the third production line will also resume operation.
Production in Everett will focus on the latest variants of the 737 MAX, such as the Boeing 737 MAX 8–200 and the Boeing 737 MAX 10.
The announcement of the new production line came just as Boeing was getting ready for final delivery of the 747. “Queen of Heaven” first took to the skies almost 54 years ago. The latest four-engine beauty — cargo 747-8F — designed for Atlas Air.