Boeing has rolled out its 4000th Next Generation 737, a 126-passenger 737-700 destined for China Southern Airways.
The milestone comes as Boeing ramps up 737 production to whittle down a backlog of more than 2600 orders. The US planemaker hopes to hit a production target of 42 aircraft per month by 2014.
Somewhat confusingly, Boeing uses the “Next Generation” moniker to refer to its current generation of the popular single-aisle jetliner, spanning the 737-600 through -900, with the -700 and -800 variants being the most popular. The next-next generation 737, known as the 737 MAX, is scheduled to begin deliveries in 2017.
Boeing says more than 5,550 737s are currently in service worldwide, comprising more than a quarter of all large commercial jets.