Boeing suspends production of 737 MAX over certification concerns
Boeing announced today that it is temporarily suspending production of its 737 MAX airliner. Citing the needs for recertification and setting new training requirements that must be determined before the grounded fleet can return to service, the company says that, while work will continue on 737-related tasks, some employees will be temporarily reassigned to other aircraft construction jobs in the Puget Sound area.
Nine months ago, the entire 737 MAX airliner fleet was grounded after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed over 300 people. Though Boeing hoped that the aircraft would soon return to service, subsequent investigations called into question everything from the crew training procedures to the basic design of the airliner.
Faced with a longer than expected recertification timeline by the US FAA and international regulatory authorities, Boeing has now decided to halt the production of new 737 MAX units in January 2020 and will instead concentrate on completing about 400 of the airplanes that are currently in storage.
The 737 MAX is expected to one day return to full production. In the meantime, affected employees will be temporarily reassigned in order to keep the production system and supply chain intact.