Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said Wednesday the airplane manufacturer is considering reducing or temporarily halting production of the 737 MAX aircraft if it is not cleared to return to service by the end of 2019.
According to ABCNews.com, Muilenburg revealed during a call discussing Boeing’s biggest quarterly loss on record of $2.9 billion the company believes the 737 MAX will return to service early in the fourth quarter.
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The Boeing 737 MAX remains grounded in the U.S. and around the world after it was involved in two fatal crashes in October of 2018 and March of 2019, which left a total of 346 passengers and crew members dead.
“We are continuing to produce at 42 aircraft per month and we will continue to evaluate potential future reductions in the production rate, including a temporary shutdown in 737 production,” Boeing said in a statement.
“We may face additional costs, delays in return to service, and/or further reductions in the production rate,” Boeing’s statement continued. “The grounding has reduced revenues, operating earnings and cash flows during the first half of 2019 and will continue to adversely affect our results until deliveries resume and production rates increase. We are also working with our customers to minimize the impact to their operations.”
Boeing originally planned to increase production of the 737 MAX to 57 per month in 2019, which would have comprised of around 90 percent of its total 737 deliveries this year.
While the manufacturer has been struggling since the grounding, International Airlines Group (IAG) signed a letter of intent with Boeing for 200 of its 737 MAX planes, as well as commitments for other aircraft.