Boeing stops production of 737 MAX jets January 2020

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

Boeing Co Monday, December 16, 2019, said that it would temporarily stop producing its grounded 737 MAX jet beginning in January as the company struggles to get approval from the United States (U.S.) aviation regulators to put the plane back in the air.

Associated Press (AP) reports the Chicago-based company said production would halt at its plant with 12,000 employees in Renton, Washington, near Seattle. But it said it didn’t expect to lay off any workers “at this time”.

The move amounts to an acknowledgement that it will take much longer than Boeing expected to win approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other global regulators to fly the planes again.

Grounded since March 2019

The MAX is Boeing’s most important jet, but it has been grounded since March after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed total of 346 people.

The FAA told the company last week that it had unrealistic expectations for getting the plane back into service. Boeing has missed several estimates of a return date for the plane, and the company didn’t give a date on Monday.

The report further says even if no employees are laid off, ceasing production still will cut into the U.S. economic output because of Boeing’s huge footprint in the nation’s manufacturing sector.

Through October 2019, the country’s aerospace industry’s factory output had fallen 17%, compared with the same period in 2018, to $106.4 billion, in part due to previous 737 MAX production cuts.

The shutdown also is likely to ripple through Boeing’s vast network of 900 companies that make engines, bodies, and other parts for the 737, and layoffs are likely, AP reported.

Richard Aboulafia, an aircraft industry analyst at the Teal Group, said the shutdown would probably hinder the economy in the coming months and could worsen the nation’s trade balance.

According to Aboulafia, Boeing is the country’s biggest single manufactured export product.”

ConsumerConnect recalls that it was reported Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft, which has been grounded since March following two deadly crashes, will not be cleared to fly until 2020.

Steve Dickson, Federal Aviation Administration chief has said the “process for approving the MAX’s return to the skies still has 10 or 11 milestones left to complete, including a certification flight and a public comment period.

“If you just do the math, it’s going to extend into 2020,” Dickson said.

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