30 MARCH 2020
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Boeing plans to restart 737 MAX production by May, according to reports coming out of Seattle. Assembly of the 737 is concentrated at Renton, south of the city. The not so good news is the suspension of 787 production at the Everett plant, which is to the north.
Boeing’s planning hinges on the scale of disruptions from the fast spreading coronavirus, and US regulators clearing the 737 MAX to return to service, a milestone Boeing still expects to reach in mid-2020.
In March 2019, aviation authorities around the world grounded the Boeing 737 MAX passenger airliner after two new 737 MAX aircraft crashed within five months, killing all 346 people aboard Lion Air Flight 610 on 29 October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on 10 March 2019.
One industry source said Boeing has asked some suppliers to be ready to ship 737 parts in April.
“It’ll be a very slow, methodical, systematic approach to warming the line up, and getting crews back in place,” Boeing chief financial officer Greg Smith told Reuters last week when asked about the May restart goal.
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