Once upon a time, Boeing (NYSE: BA ) boasted that its 787 Dreamliner aircraft was "the most successful launch of a new commercial airplane in Boeing's history." Years of delays, disappointments, and a series of PR flubs have taken some of the wind out of the company's sails (and sales). But even if the 787 is no longer a success story, Boeing's 737 Next Gen airplane could be.
Yesterday, Boeing confirmed that delivered a whopping 124 planes to its customers last quarter, 11 more than the comparable quarter last year. Wait, it gets better: Last week, Boeing received 104 more orders for planes, with all disclosed orders going to 737's.
No, that's not a typo
That's right, Fools. One week of plane sales nearly equaled three months' worth of planes delivered. Customers from Xiamen Airlines to Air Lease Corp are lining up and begging Boeing to provide them with 737s. I'm tempted to say the planes are selling like hotcakes ... but no one orders 60 hotcakes in one sitting, as Air Lease Corp did with 737s.
Moreover, it looks like things will only get better for Boeing. One of its biggest customers -- discount carrier Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV ) -- recently tied the knot with another of Boeing's bigger fans, fellow cheap-seater AirTran (NYSE: AAI ) . The pressing need to produce promised synergies post-merger should keep both carriers laser-focused on reducing costs by maintaining an all-Boeing fleet.
And that's just for starters. Recent sales wins in Russia helped push Boeing to accelerate production on the 737 three times in last five months. Suppliers of parts for the plane -- everybody from General Electric (NYSE: GE ) to United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) to Honeywell (NYSE: HON ) -- have to be giddy with glee over the plane's success.
Even I'm beginning to question Wall Street's predictions of single-digit growth at Boeing. I mean, if Boeing's latest production uptick has it building planes 20% faster than it thought it needed to just a few months ago, how likely is it that sales will remain stuck at 9%?
Even if the 737 is only Boeing's second-biggest success story, it deserves a bigger number than that.