Boeing Resumes 737 MAX Production

Boeing is resuming the production of the 737 MAX at the company’s factory in Renton, Washington. According to the company, it will start at a “low rate” and will keep on ramping up the production this year.

737 787 storage moses
Boeing is resuming the production of the 737 MAX. Photo: Getty Images

Boeing is implementing a dozen initiatives

At the moment, Boeing is implementing more than a dozen initiatives focused on enhancing workplace safety and product quality. Also, the 737 MAX is still grounded since March 2019, after two deadly crashes that led to 346 deaths. These crashes occurred in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Walt Odisho, vice president and general manager of the 737 program said,

“These initiatives are the next step in creating the optimal build environment for the 737 MAX.”

The production of the 737 MAX has been on hold since January. Meanwhile, the company has been working on the recertification of the airplane. Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also worked to tighten up the approval process of aircraft design.

The engineers and mechanics at Boeing have collaborated to standardize work packages in each position, said the company. This will allow a new process that ensures that employees have everything they need “at their fingertips” to build the airplane.

Boeing 737 MAX car park
The 737 MAX is grounded since March 2019. Photo: Getty Images

How’s the production at the moment?

In its statement, Boeing didn’t specify how many MAX airplanes it will build monthly. “The 737 program will begin building airplanes at a low rate,” it said.

Before the 10 March 2019 crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302, Boeing was building 52 737 MAX a month. At that time, the world was a very different place. Boeing planned on ramping up the production to 57 airplanes per month.

Nevertheless, after the second crash and the subsequent grounding, Boeing had to reduce its production. First, it built 42 airplanes, while promising the recertification was going to happen at any given moment.

In January, Boeing finally stopped the production. The already build airplanes are parked everywhere, even in car parking lots.

Earlier this month, FOX News asked Dave Calhoun, Boeing CEO, if the company built too many 737 MAX airplanes. He said,

“Did we build too many? Well, of course, in retrospect, we’d all say yes, but on the other hand, that just means we’re going to build less going forward until we deplete that inventory. And we have announced the adjustments that we plan to take with respect to production levels, so our MAX line, along with all of our lines, are going to decrease fairly significantly.”

Southwest Airlines
Southwest expects the MAX to fly this year. Photo: Southwest Airlines

What’s going to happen now?

The recertification process of the Boeing 737 MAX is still going. Last week, Gary Kelly, Southwest’s CEO, said that he believes the MAX will fly again this year.

“We’re still wanting to get the MAX into service. The MAX airplane is superior to the Next Generation 737 that we’re currently operating,” he said.

Still, when Boeing obtains the recertification for the aircraft, it will be in a very different world. Several airlines have already delayed or canceled MAX orders due to the current crisis.

For instance, United Airlines recently delayed more than half its order with Boeing. It will only receive 40 airplanes by the end of 2021. Southwest took a similar approach and deferred some of its orders.

How many 737 MAX do you think Boeing is building at the moment? Let us know in the comments.