Thousands of Boeing employees have gathered at the company’s Renton facility in Washington State to celebrate the delivery of the 10,000th 737 to Southwest Airlines and a new world record.
The milestone aircraft is a 737 MAX 8, N8717M.
The festivities on Tuesday (US time) included fresh recognition for the evergreen narrowbody from Guinness World Records, which presented Boeing with a certificate proclaiming the 737 as “the most-produced commercial jet aircraft model”.
…dramatic pause… It’s official! Guinness World Records (on site today) has just recorded the Boeing 737 as “the most-produced large commercial jet” in aviation history. #10k737 #boeing pic.twitter.com/0ui0w6QG6x
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) March 13, 2018
“This incredible milestone is a testament to the work we do every day to build the most reliable and efficient single-aisle airplane in the world,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive Kevin McAllister said.
“It represents more than 50 years of success and achievement on the part of thousands of Boeing employees past and present, our supplier partners, and our airline customers around the globe who put their confidence in the 737.”
It is the second time the 737 has been recognised by Guinness World Records. The first occasion was in 2006, when the 5,000th 737 rolled off the final assembly line.
As indication of the ramp up in production in recent times, the first 5,000 737s took about 40 years to produce, Boeing said.
However, the next 5,000 aircraft were built in about 12 years.
“The speed at which Boeing achieved this new milestone is very impressive,” said Guinness World Records official adjudicator Michael Empric said.
“We are excited to once again recognise the 737 and the important role it plays in commercial aviation.”
Boeing is currently producing 47 737s a month, a rate that will rise to 52 a month later in 2018.
In this part of the world, Qantas and Virgin Australia are both big current operators of the 737 with 75 and 82 in their fleets, respectively. Others of the 10,000 737s built have been delivered to Qantas predecessor Australian Airlines, plus Ansett Airways and Air New Zealand.