Aerospace giant Boeing (NYSE:BA) announced Tuesday that it has begun increasing the production rate of its Next-Generation 737 airliners. The company has begun to manufacture the aircraft at a rate of 38 per month -- a 20% increase over the past two years, from 31.5 to 38.

The rate of manufacture is expected to further increase to 42 such aircraft per month in 2014. Assembly began on the first aircraft to be built under this plan on Tuesday, with its delivery scheduled to come in the second quarter of 2013.

Beverly Wyse, Boeing's 737 program vice president and general manager, was quoted in a company press release as saying, "The first spar load serves as the defining moment for our latest rate break, and the 737 team did it as planned, on schedule."

Boeing said there were 176 months between announcing its first Next-Generation 737 order and its 5,000th order.


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