Boeing Co delivered 61 of its highly profitable 737 jetliners in September, up from 48 a month earlier, taking a step towards recovery from supply shortages that disrupted production at a Seattle-area factory.
The increase shows progress in Boeing’s effort to smooth manufacturing problems. The planemaker brought in 600 mechanics to help tackle out-of-sequence work that left dozens of unfinished aircraft parked around the factory. Mechanics are making headway on jets awaiting parts, enabling Boeing to deliver nine more 737s than it made at the current production pace of 52 a month.
Monthly shipments of the narrow-body plane, Boeing’s biggest source of profit, have steadily improved since hitting a six-year low in July. On a quarterly basis, Boeing delivered 190 commercial aircraft, 12 fewer than a year ago as shortages of cabin equipment slowed some wide-body shipments. Executives expect 737 production to improve and have left full-year delivery targets intact.
“We expect a full recovery in the fourth quarter,” Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu said in a report to clients. Boeing will need to ship about 183 of its 737 planes to reach full-year targets, “which seems achievable given the production rate and current parked aircraft.”