The US American aircraft manufacturer says it has now resumed building 737 MAX, but does so at a low rate. Production is set to gradually increase output over the course of this year. However, it was not immediately clear when the original (pre-grounding) monthly output would be reached.
Walt Odisho, vice president and general manager of the 737 program, stated that during the stop, Boeing worked to ‘evolve’ the production system, allowing for a more efficient manufacturing now.
The 737 MAX has been grounded since March 2019 following two deadly crashes in October 2018 and March 2019. Both were related to a system called MCAS, which malfunctioned due to incorrect sensor inputs and forced the aircraft into a dive. As a result, Boeing stopped delivering new airplanes and initially reduced production, before entirely stopping it earlier this year. Several hundred airplanes of the type remain on the ground for now, both factory-new and previously delivered ones – completely unrelated to the currently ongoing Coronavirus crisis.
In April, the 737 reached 500 cancellations in 2020 alone. The aircraft is still waiting for a re-certification and approval to return to commercial service.
Earlier this Wednesday, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announced that the company will lay off almost 7,000 US-based employees.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.