The 737 MAX is a twin-engine, narrow-body jet and the latest iteration of Boeing’s best-selling aircraft. It debuted for commercial service in 2017. United Airlines has ordered a total of 100 of the twin-engine, medium-range jets.

Boeing Expects to Resume 737 MAX Production

Feb. 13, 2020
Jet assembly operations were suspended in January, but a restart is expected before the aircraft has been cleared by FAA to restart commercial service.

Boeing Co. executives have indicated its 737 MAX program will resume production before the twin-engine aircraft has been cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration and other air-safety agencies to resume commercial service. The OEM stopped production of 737 MAX jets in January, 10 months after it halted deliveries of its best-selling aircraft.

Boeing has developed a new flight-control software for the 737 MAX, to address the cause of the two crashes that caused the aircraft to be suspended worldwide in March 2019. Boeing also stopped deliveries of new 737 MAX jets that month, though it continued to assemble them, at a rate of 42 per month.

The schedule for resuming production is not clear, as the revamped aircraft has not yet completed the recertification flights necessary to gain the FAA's clearance. Boeing reportedly expects the various agencies will clear the aircraft to fly by midyear. Steve Dickson, the FAA's top official, has said there is no schedule for that flight.

In addition to FAA, the European Air Safety Administration, and other national safety regulators also suspended the commercial service last March for more than 340 737 MAX jets already delivered to customers.

Boeing has an order backlog of more than 4,900 of the narrow-body jets

A new flight-control software has been developed to address the cause of the two crashes, and will be installed in all 737 MAX jets once the regulators have cleared the jets. However, Boeing apparently does not expect the various safety agencies to give their respective clearances at the same time.

According to Boeing, the schedule for resuming production will be staged in coordination with a simulator-based training program for 737 MAX pilots, to operate the new flight controls.

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