8 APRIL 2019
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Production rates for the Boeing B737 MAX are being cut back by the manufacturer from 52 aircraft a month to 42 from next week in the aftermath of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents and subsequent grounding of the world fleet.
Observers noted the move suggested investigations into the causes of the crashes and developing a promised software fix for the aircraft were taking longer than expected.
The news came in a video statement from Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg expressing the company’s sorrow for the accidents and describing how the company is working to change the MAX’s manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS).
“As we continue to work through these steps, we're adjusting the 737 production system temporarily to accommodate the pause in MAX deliveries, allowing us to prioritise additional resources to focus on software certification and returning the MAX to flight,” Muilenburg said.
He added the adjusted rate of 42 aircraft a month meant the B737 programme and related production teams would maintain current employment levels “while we continue to invest in the broader health and quality of our production system and supply chain.”
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