Chicago, Illinois, United States – Boeing will reportedly halt production of its 737 Max aircraft, the latest setback for the company after its best-selling model was grounded following two fatal crashes, the company announced on Monday.
The company has continued to build about 40 planes per month in its Washington state plant, even while the model was grounded, but it will temporarily halt production in January, The Hill reported.
“We will continue to assess our progress towards a return to service milestones and make determinations about resuming production and deliveries accordingly. During this time, it is our plan that affected employees will continue 737-related work, or be temporarily assigned to other teams in Puget Sound,” the company said in a statement.
“As we have throughout the 737 MAX grounding, we will keep our customers, employees, and supply chain top of mind as we continue to assess appropriate actions. This will include efforts to sustain the gains in the production system and supply chain quality and health made over the last many months,” it added.
The wait for regulators to clear the jets to return to the air has created a backlog of about 400 jets, with neither airlines nor regulatory bodies expecting final approval until February at the earliest. The 737 Max has been grounded since the second fatal crash, which occurred in March. The two crashes collectively killed 346 people in late 2018 and early 2019.