The Wall Street Journal: Boeing’s supplier bottlenecks threaten production at factory near Seattle

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Boeing Co. is facing a problem as it races to meet demand for single-aisle, fuel-efficient jets: where to store unfinished 737s piling up at a factory near Seattle.

One answer in late July was the taxiway of the small airport in Renton, Wash., next to its BA, -1.18% factory there.

“Boeing is running out of space,” Renton public works administrator Gregg Zimmerman wrote to city council members in a July 27 memo about the taxiway plan. “They have encountered an emergency production challenge that threatens to interfere with their ability to keep their airplane production lines running.”

A Boeing spokesman said the request for parking space was part of a “recovery plan” to get deliveries to match production rates. Zimmerman declined to comment.

The unfinished airplanes illustrate a challenge to Boeing, the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturer by sales, as it tries to make enough of its new 737 Max jets to meet fast-growing demand. Boeing and rival Airbus SE together have more than $1 trillion in orders for planes, driven by a global boom in air travel that is adding 100 million passengers a year.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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