Boeing to boost 737 airplane production

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SEATTLE (AP) -- Boeing Co. will ramp up production of the next-generation 737, its most popular jet.

The world's second-biggest maker of commercial planes said Wednesday that it plans to build 42 of the 737 model per month by the first half of 2014. Then it will boost production further to an average of two of the planes per workday, for a total of nearly 500 a year. The company said it currently assembles 31.5 of the jets a month.

The 737's new "passenger comfort" features have spurred demand to "unprecedented" levels, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh said.

Boeing is the biggest maker of commercial planes behind Airbus, based on 2010 deliveries.

Shares of Boeing fell 54 cents to $74.10 in early afternoon trading.