If you have mentioned the word Boeing in conversation over the last 12 months, the most likely topic of conversation will be about the 737 MAX.
Boeing has had a tough time of it after two fatal crashes saw the next-generation of the worlds best-selling passenger aeroplane grounded globally. However, recently the U.S. manufacturer had some positive news with the first test flights of the 777X.
A Boeing 777X airplane takes off on its first flight, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, with the Olympic … [+]
The Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer is working hard to ensure that not only does the 737 MAX and the ill-fated Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) return to safe operational service, but to also ensure that airlines are not put off future Boeing orders.
I recently spoke to Boeing and was told that the 737 MAX would be close to returning to service, however, after continued delays and safety concerns, the single-aisle jet has now temporarily completely stopped production.
Dozens of grounded Boeing 737 MAX airplanes crowd a parking area adjacent to Boeing Field Thursday, … [+]
Boeing said that none of the workers associated with the 737 MAX production line will be laid-off, although Boeing suppliers around the world may feel the tough effects of this. Generally, aircraft manufacturers only receive payment for aircraft after they have been delivered, and it is now estimated that more than 400 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft sit idle, waiting for the plane to get re-certified.
The question then will be whether airlines want to actually receive the plane and indeed whether passengers have the confidence to fly on them. Boeing initially scaled back production of the jet to 42 frames per month, until now entirely halting the production line in Renton, Washington.
SEATTLE, WA – JUNE 27: Boeing 737 MAX airplanes are stored on employee parking lots near Boeing … [+]
Boeing is not taking any shortcuts this time in returning the aircraft to service, that has been grounded since March 2019. U.S. carriers including Southwest and American Airlines who operate the variant have removed the aircraft from their schedules out until as far as July 2020.
The new Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in an email to staff that the company would “keep taking steps to maintain our supply chain and workforce expertise so we’re ready to restart production.”
In a statement from Boeing on January 21, the company said that they now expect the “ungrounding of the 737 MAX will begin during mid-2020.”
SEATTLE, WA – JUNE 27: Boeing 737 MAX airplanes are stored in an area adjacent to Boeing Field, on … [+]
Boeing continued that they had “made significant progress over the past several months in support of safely returning the 737 MAX to service as the company continues to work with the FAA and other global regulators on the process laid out for certifying the 737 MAX software and related training updates”.
Currently, it seems from the update that although the aircraft manufacturer aims to begin production of the aircraft again before it is ungrounded, that passengers won’t be flying on a MAX until the second half of 2020 at best. Perhaps with the continued delays now though, Boeing are aiming to exceed expectations at this point.