Due to the immense costs involved in the certification of a new type, Boeing has continued to iterate upon the initial 737 type with the most recent models being the 737 NG and MAX.

Will they continue upgrading and remaking this type well into the future, or will they move to a new type for their next narrow body design?

Another potential factor is how significant the damage done to the 737's reputation is in the aftermath of the MAX incidents and accidents, and how this may impact future decisions.

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    $\begingroup$ Im not sure (without input from someone high up at Boeing) this question can be answered factually. Unfortunately opinion based questions are off topic here. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Apr 10 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ It seems that "input from someone high up at Boeing" is going to be hard to come by, seeing as the "high ups at Boeing" have packed up and left. $\endgroup$ Apr 10 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ I think it is a good question. Opinions can be based on facts/data. $\endgroup$
    – Gabe
    Apr 11 at 0:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Gabe Let's hope that opinions are always based on facts and data, even if the facts are "chocolate pleases me more than vanilla". $\endgroup$ Apr 11 at 13:49

2 Answers 2


The closest answer you will be able to find outside of internal sources at Boeing, is

As long as airlines keep buying them
Kind of obvious, but as long as there is a demand for the 737, Boeing will continue production. According to Wikipedia they had around 6200 737s on backorder in 2023, so this is not likely to happen anytime soon.

Considering that the only other viable option in most of the world for a similar sized aircraft comes from Airbus, Boeing is unlikely to end production without a replacement. Even if they announce a new model to replace the 737, there is likely to be an overlap for a while to deliver all the ordered airplanes not converted to the new model and to cover airlines not willing to add a new model to their fleet.

As long as the 737 can remain competitive
This is also kind of obvious, and is related to the above. Once an airliner is noncompetitive, the only remaining customers are likely to be various military forces. If this happens it is likely to end with the same as the above, with a new and more competitive model being introduced to remain a viable option to the Airbus A320.


Boeing has made it very clear in several earnings calls with their investors that they will not develop a new airliner anytime soon. At the moment, the industry seems to be in a kind of holding pattern as all big manufacturers wait for propfans like the CFM RISE to become ready for large-scale deployment.

Meanwhile, both Boeing and Airbus are experimenting with very high aspect ratio wings, Boeing with the transsonic truss-braced wing on the Boeing / NASA X-66 and due to an accidentally leaked rendering, we can speculate that Airbus is working on a very high aspect ratio gull wing design.

It seems like both of the big manufacturers are trying to hold out on designing a new airliner until they get very high aspect ratio wings, propfans, active wings, new materials, and hybrids / hydrogen / SAFs figured out. There are so many new technologies "right around the corner" right now that designing a new airliner too early would mean you miss out on some breakthrough.

That means for the foreseeable future, it is likely that all we are going to see is modest upgrades to the B737, B787, A320, and A350.


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