Boeing mulls whether to cut 737 Max production as delays drag on
Boeing is considering whether to cut production of the grounded 737 Max jet, after the US aviation regulator said it would not approve the plane’s return to service before 2020.
The company’s board is midway through a two-day meeting in Chicago, and the company could make an announcement on production plans as soon as late Monday, sources told Reuters.
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Directors are understood to be considering a proposal from top management to temporarily shut down 737 production.
The person briefed on the matter told Reuters a temporary shutdown is more likely than another production cut, but it would potentially take a few weeks before production could be halted.
Boeing said in a statement over the weekend that the company “will continue to assess production decisions based on the timing and conditions of return to service, which will be based on regulatory approvals and may vary by jurisdiction.”
Boeing has said if it did not receive approval to begin deliveries before the end of the year it could be forced to further slow production or temporarily shut down the Max production line, a move that would have repercussions across its global supply chain.
The best-selling Boeing plane has been grounded since March after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people.
On Thursday, Boeing abandoned its goal of winning approval this month to unground the 737 Mac after chief executive Dennis Muilenburg met with FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.
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Dickson said on Wednesday he would not clear the plane to fly before 2020 and said the agency has an ongoing investigation into 737 production issues in Renton, Washington.
Approval is not likely until at least February and could be delayed until March, according to US officials.