Boeing and Aviation Capital Group announce order for 12 737-8 jets, July 2022.

Boeing Expects New Delays for 737 MAX

April 16, 2023
A manufacturing defect on fittings for some fuselage structures supplied by Spirit AeroSystems are raising new concerns about a production and deliveries of Boeing’s best-selling aircraft.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes is facing a new complication with the delivery of its best-selling aircraft, the 737 MAX, having identified a problem involving installation of fittings on some fuselages. The fuselage structures are manufactured by supplier Spirit AeroSystems, which according to Boeing reported the problem that resulted from Spirit’s use of a “non-standard manufacturing process.”

Reportedly, Boeing had targeted June for a planned increase in 737 MAX production, from 31 aircraft/month to 38 aircraft/month.

According to Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and confirmed Boeing’s assessment that the issue does not represent an immediate safety concern.

However, FAA is likely to issue one of its “airworthiness directives” to 737 MAX 7 and MAX 8 operators, calling for safety inspections of those jets.

The full extent of the fittings problem is not known, though Boeing said that deliveries of a significant number of 737 MAX 7 and MAX 8 could be delayed as a consequence. That would likely impact Boeing customers like American Airlines, Ryanair, and Southwest Airlines, each of which are waiting for deliveries of 737 MAX aircraft.

Boeing faced a similar problem recently with a production defect on 787 Dreamliner aircraft, and that issue and related matters held up 787 deliveries for several months in 2021 and 2022.

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