With the delivery of its 377th 2012 737 airliner to United Airlines today, Boeing set a new record for 737s in a single year.
The previous record was 376 737 airliner deliveries in 2010.
All Boeing 737s are built at the company’s Renton factory. That factory now builds 35 737s monthly, a record output. But this year’s record is destined to be broken next year as Boeing gradually increases its monthly production rate to 38 and then to 42.
The company has built as few as 14 737s a month at the plant in the past when demand for its single-aisle jetliner was a fraction of 2012’s.
Boeing has seen net orders for the 737 total 1,031 aircraft this year so far. The previous record was 846 737s in 2007.
The company has publicly talked about raising 737 monthly output to as high as 63, but it has made no commitments to do so.
Boeing is building a third assembly line at Renton. That line initially will produce the first examples of the 737 Max, the newest version of the plane. The first 737 Max is due to enter commercial service in 2017. All three assembly lines are expected to eventually transition to Max production from production of the current 737 Next Generation.
The 737 Max will employ new engines and will feature split wingtips and other aerodynamic improvements to cut fuel consumption by 13 percent.