On 5 April Boeing announced that it will slow 737 MAX production from 52 to 42 aircraft a month by mid-April, indicating that the type’s grounding will likely last longer than expected.
Boeing made the announcement shortly after the Wall Street closed and after Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg released a videotape earlier in the day expressing Boeing’s sorrow for the lives lost in the recent MAX crashes and how the company is working to change the MCAS system.
“As we continue to work through the steps, we’re adjusting the 737-production system temporarily to accommodate the pause in MAX deliveries, allowing us to focus additional resources on software certification and returning the MAX to flight,” Muilenburg said when announcing the slowdown.
“At a production the of 42 airplanes a month, the 737 programme and related production teams will maintain their current employment levels while we continue to invest in the broader health and quality of our production system and supply chain,” Boeing continued. “We are co-ordinating closely with our customers as we work through plans to mitigate the impact of this adjustment. We will also work directly with our suppliers on their production plans to reduce operational disruption and financial impact of the production-rate change.”
The MAX fleet has been grounded since 13 March. The production slowdown is a significant turn of events for Boeing. The immediate ramifications of the slowdown for Boeing and its suppliers remain unclear.