The Boeing Company reduced the production rate of its 737 MAX in mid-April, as a consequence of the grounding of the type. However, Boeing is apparently ready to ramp up the 737 MAX production again; according to reports, this will happen as soon as June.
What are the details?
As we all know, all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have been grounded since March 13th. At this time, it is not clear when the aircraft will be able to take to the skies again. We are still awaiting the certification of Boeing’s software update which is believed to fix the issue with the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System).
According to Boeing, the MCAS update is ready for certification. Nevertheless, it might still take a while until the software update is approved by the FAA and ready to be implemented on the 737 MAX fleet.
In response to the issues with the aircraft, Boeing reduced the 737 MAX production rate from 52 to 42 aircraft per month in the middle of April. Nonetheless, as reported by Leeham News, Boeing is getting ready to start producing more 737 MAX aircraft once again. As a matter of fact, the company has “told suppliers to keep producing parts, components, and the fuselage at rate 52.”
Boeing’s new production schedule
During the MRO Americas conference at the beginning of this month, Leeham News learned of Boeing’s intended production schedule for the aircraft. According to this “ramp-up plan,” Boeing will produce 42 737 MAX aircraft in April and May. However, in June, the aircraft manufacturer is planning on producing 47 737 MAXs.
After June, this rate will increase again, and the company expects to complete 51.5 aircraft in both July and August. Finally, in September, Boeing will produce 57 737 MAXs.
Before slowing production earlier this month, Boeing had initially planned to produce 57 aircraft starting in June or July. Based on the new plan, Boeing will only be a couple of months behind its original schedule.
Boeing 737 MAX orders
Based on data provided by the Boeing Company, there are currently 4,625 unfilled orders for 737 MAX aircraft (through March 2019). At 249 aircraft, Southwest Airlines has the most open orders. flydubai has open orders for 237 aircraft, while VietJet Air is awaiting the delivery of 200 aircraft.
According to CNBC, Boeing announced earlier this month that its total aircraft orders fell significantly in the first quarter of this year. As a matter of fact, last year the aircraft manufacturer received a total of 180 orders in the first quarter. This year, on the other hand, the company only received 95 orders. Furthermore, Boeing did not receive any new orders for its 737 MAX aircraft in March.
How do you feel about Boeing ramping up 737 MAX production again?