Boeing could suspend or cut 737 MAX output

The Wall Street Journal first reported Sunday that the company could possibly end production of the beleaguered fleet of jets, sending shares of Boeing to tumble almost 4% on Monday.

The 737 Max fleet was involved in two fatal crashes that killed everyone on board.

FAA chief Steve Dickson disclosed that there is no clear timeline for when the 737 Max will be re-certified and that there are 10 to 11 milestones left to complete before it can be approved. "When I mentioned that I've seen operations in the military shut down for lesser safety concerns, I will never forget his response, which was 'The military isn't a profit-making organization'".

Boeing (NYSE:BA) will temporarily stop production of its 737 MAX jetliner in January, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a person briefed on the matter.

"We have previously stated that we would continually evaluate our production plans should the MAX grounding continue longer than we expected".

Boeing said in a statement on Sunday it would "continue to assess production decisions based on the timing and conditions of return to service" based on "regulatory approvals" which may "vary by jurisdiction".

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Boeing could announce a decision as soon as late Monday. The company makes a wide variety of aircraft components and counts Boeing as one of its top customers.

The US-based aircraft maker had already cut production of the 737 Max planes by a fifth in April and shelved plans to boost output in mid-2019, following the grounding of the aircraft globally.

"We continue to work closely with the FAA and global regulators on MAX certification and safe return", a Boeing spokesman said when asked by AFP for comment.

The Max is produced at Boeing's Renton plant in Washington state, which employs about 12,000 people.

The effects of this shutdown also extend well beyond the Northwest, to the many other people responsible for assembling Boeing planes across the globe.

The federal agency did not ground the planes until after a second crash.

  • Sonia Alvarado