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Boeing to suspend 737 Max production from January

Boeing to suspend 737 Max production from January

Boeing has said it will suspend production of new 737 Max aircraft from next month.

The plane type has been grounded since March following two fatal crashes.

Lion Air flight 610 was lost in Indonesia in October 2018, killing 189 passengers and crew.

This was followed by the downing of Ethiopian Airlines flight 301, with the loss of all 157 people aboard, in March this year.

Following the second incident, global authorities banned commercial operation of the 737 Max.

Boeing has been working with the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States to recertify the plane for take-off.

The manufacturer had hoped this process would be complete by the end of 2019, but it now appears work will run into next year.

In a statement, Boeing said it would therefore halt production: “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 a result of this ongoing evaluation, we have decided to prioritise the delivery of stored aircraft and temporarily suspend production on the 737-program beginning next month.”

Boeing has continued to produce the 737 Max, albeit at a decreasing rate, and now has roughly 400 prepared for delivery.

The company added: “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 prioritise the delivery of stored aircraft.”

Boeing said it expected no job losses as a result of the decision, at this time, with employees temporarily reassigned to other teams in Puget Sound.

However, around 600 companies are believed to be in the supply chain for the Boeing 737 Max, with the impact of the suspension on them yet to be seen.