Boeing suspends 737 MAX production starting in January due to certification moving into 2020. Boeing will halt production on its 737 MAX plane nine months after authorities grounded the passenger airliner following crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.
“Safely returning the 737 MAX to service is our top priority. We know that the process of approving the 737 MAX’s return to service, and of determining appropriate training requirements, must be extraordinarily thorough and robust, to ensure that our regulators, customers, and the flying public have confidence in the 737 MAX updates. As we have previously said, the FAA and global regulatory authorities determine the timeline for certification and return to service. We remain fully committed to supporting this process. It is our duty to ensure that every requirement is fulfilled, and every question from our regulators answered,” Boeing said in a statement.
Boeing has been producing about 40 737 MAX jetliners each month and currently has a collection of about 400 of the planes. But this series has not been able to obtain approval to fly from the FAA and other regulators around the world, and authorities don’t expect any official decisions to come before February.
“We believe this decision is least disruptive to maintaining long-term production system and supply chain health. This decision is driven by a number of factors, including the extension of certification into 2020, the uncertainty about the timing and conditions of return to service and global training approvals, and the importance of ensuring that we can prioritize the delivery of stored aircraft. We will continue to assess our progress towards return to service milestones and make determinations about resuming production and deliveries accordingly,” Boeing said in a statement.
Boeing said it does not plan to lay off or furlough workers at the Renton, Washington, factory where the 737 Max is produced during the production pause. Some of the 12,000 workers there will be temporarily reassigned to other teams in Puget Sound.