Boeing has announced that it will suspend
production of the troubled 737 MAX family of aircraft in January
Since the 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019,
Boeing has continued to build new airplanes and there are now
approximately 400 planes in storage.
All 189 passengers and crew on a Lion Air Boeing
737 MAX 8 died when it crashed about 13 minutes after take off
from SoekarnoĖHatta International Airport in Jakarta on 29 October
2018. That devastating tragedy was followed by an Ethiopian
Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashing just minutes after take off on
8 March 2019 killing all 157 people on board.
"We have previously stated that we would
continually evaluate our production plans should the MAX grounding
continue longer than we expected," said Boeing in a statement
issued on Monday. "As a result of this ongoing
evaluation, we have decided to prioritize the delivery of stored
aircraft and temporarily suspend production on the 737 program
beginning next month. We believe this decision is least disruptive to
maintaining long-term production system and supply chain health."
The company has said that affected
employees will either continue 737-related work or will be temporarily
assigned to other teams in Puget Sound.
Boeing said that the decision to stop production
has been "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 prioritize
the delivery of stored aircraft. We will continue to assess our
progress towards return to service milestones and make
determinations about resuming production and deliveries
Boeing is expected to disclose the financial impact of
the production suspension when it releases its Q4 2019 earnings
in late January.