Updated Dec. 16, 2019.
Boeing is going to suspend production of its 737 Max jet starting in January. In a statement, the aircraft manufacturer says reducing output will allow it to concentrate on delivering the approximately 400 aircraft it has built and parked, once the plane is cleared to fly again.
The 737 Max has been grounded since March, after fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people. The plane’s flight control software has been implicated as the cause, and Boeing is working on a fix. That has to be approved by regulators, and a date for the plane’s return to service keeps being pushed back.
Marketplace has a few questions and answers:
Q. Has Boeing been building 737 Max planes this whole time?
Yes, the company has been building planes at its Renton, Washington, plant, even while they have been grounded, as we witnessed in March. In April, Boeing did slow production slightly from 52 planes per month to 42. Because it can’t deliver those planes to customers, it’s been parking them in Renton and other Boeing facilities.
Continuing to build the planes was, in part, a demonstration from Boeing that it was confident that the aircraft could be fixed easily, said Kevin Michaels, managing director at consultants AeroDynamic Advisory.
“They were indicating they were in anticipation of a timely resolution,” he said