Boeing to stop production of 737 Max starting in January
US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has announced that it plans to suspend production of the 737 Max starting in January while it waits for the embattled plane to be recertified to return to service
US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has announced that it plans to suspend production of the 737 Max starting in January while it waits for the embattled plane to be recertified to return to service.
The 737 Max has been grounded worldwide since March after two fatal crashes - a Lion Air jet that plunged into the Java Sea in October 2018 and an Ethiopian Airlines plane downed near Addis Ababa in March - killed 346 people.
Getting the plane back in the air has proven immensely difficult, causing major financial and reputational issues for Boeing.
It wasn't until last month that Boeing recorded its first new orders for the 737 Max - a total of only 30 planes - since the grounding. The company continued to produce the planes as it hoped for a quick recertification by airline regulators around the globe.
That process, which has faced a number of setbacks, has been pushed into 2020 and Boeing has an inventory of about 400 of the airplanes in storage.
The company said the continued uncertainty of the 737 Max's future forced it to make the drastic move to pause the plane's production and shift its focus to delivering planes it has already produced.
'We believe this decision is least disruptive to maintaining long-term production system and supply chain health,' Boeing said in a release. The aircraft manufacturer did not say how long it expects production to be halted, reports CNN News.
Until last week, Boeing was still hoping to get certification for the plane to fly again before the end of this year. But F administrator Stephen Dickson said last week there was no chance that certification process could be completed before the end of 2019.
'Safely returning the 737 Max to service is our top priority,' the company said. '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... We remain fully committed to supporting this process.'