Boeing may halt the production of grounded 737 Max 8 aircraft

There are at least 700 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft grounded around the world.
There are at least 700 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft grounded around the world. Photo credit: Getty Images

Boeing is considering whether to cut back or even halt production of its grounded 737 MAX aircraft after the Federal Aviation Administration said last week it would not approve the plane's return to service before 2020, according to reports from Reuters.

The planemaker's board of directors went into discussions on Sunday evening, with an announcement on the future of the Max 8 possible as early as Monday (local time).

The Seattle Times reported the board is considering a proposal from Boeing's top management to temporarily shut down production of the 737 MAX. 

The numbers:

  • There are at least 700 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft grounded around the world
  • That's approximately US$84 billion worth of brand new aircraft.
  • If all grounded Max 8s were parked next to each other, they'd form a line that would reach from the Sky Tower in central Auckland to Manurewa.

Boeing said if it did not receive approval to begin deliveries of the airliner from its factories before the end of the year, it could be forced to further slow production or temporarily shut down the MAX production line, a move that would have repercussions across its global supply chain.

The best-selling Boeing plane has been grounded since March after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people.

Boeing's attempt to get the aircraft back in the air this month was quickly dashed when a Federal Administration Association official said the plane would not be flying at any time before 2020 due to ongoing investigations.

The official told Reuters there were nearly a dozen milestones that needed to be completed before the MAX would be considered ready to reenter service, and that approval could be as far away as February, or even further beyond that.

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