Boeing wants to produce a plane every 10 hours by 2020, CEO says

Key Points
  • Boeing aims to keep increasing its record pace of aircraft production.
  • CEO Dennis Muilenburg told CNBC that "by the end of the decade" Boeing "will be building more than 900 airplanes a year."
  • He says the world's aircraft fleets are "going to double in size" over the next 20 years.
Boeing CEO: Will build over 900 planes a year by the end of the decade

Boeing is pumping out airplanes at a record pace and aims to keep climbing.

CEO Dennis Muilenburg told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Thursday that "by the end of the decade" the aerospace and defense giant "will be building more than 900 airplanes a year."

Last year Boeing delivered a record 763 commercial aircraft, which is around one new plane every 11½ hours, and Muilenburg says the company's production rate is going to keep climbing. This year the company expects to deliver 810 to 815 airplanes, getting Boeing closer to its lofty 2020 goal.

"We see air traffic growing and passenger traffic growing at about 6 percent to 7 percent a year, and that's feeding airplane growth throughout the world," Muilenburg said.

Muilenburg says the world's aircraft fleets are "going to double in size" over the next 20 years, adding that there will be a need for 41,000 new airplanes.

"New passengers entering is what's going to drive that growth," Muilenburg said, before adding an example that each year sees "100 million people travel for the first time in Asia."

Boeing is churning through an orders backlog that was worth nearly half a trillion dollars at the end of last quarter. Muilenburg says the aerospace market as a whole "has changed" recently, frombeing an industry that fluctuates with the ups and downs of an economic cycle to becoming one where companies produce more sustained earnings growth. That shift in the nature of the aerospace market would bode well for Boeing's production plans, while also meaning demand from aircraft operators has yet to peak.

Boeing's stock has risen more than 109 percent as of Wednesday's close and has added nearly 18 percent just this year.