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Boeing to stockpile 737 Max parts, offer financial support for suppliers
Boeing CEO: 737 Max production process is disciplined, smart
Boeing CEO David Calhoun on restarting the production of 737 Max jets and what the process will look like.
Boeing Co. is planning more support for suppliers for its 737 MAX jetliner to prepare them for restarting production — and to dissuade some from seeking more business from Airbus SE.
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Boeing suspended MAX production in January after building more than 400 planes it was unable to deliver. Regulators grounded the aircraft in March last year, following the second of two fatal crashes that claimed a total of 346 lives.
That has left a network of more than 600 big suppliers and hundreds of smaller firms in limbo about business that in some cases contributed half their annual sales. Many suppliers had expanded factories and hired more staff to help Boeing fill orders for more than 4,500 MAX jets it had planned to build at a rate of 57 a month. Now, analysts say, it could take three years to reach that level when production restarts after the plane is cleared to fly again.
Heading the effort is Stan Deal, elevated to lead the Boeing Commercial Airplanes unit last October, after the ouster of Kevin McAllister. Mr. Deal formerly ran Boeing's service arm, but he had also headed its supply-chain relations earlier in his 34-year career at the company.
BOEING FINDS DEBRIS IN FUEL TANKS OF MANY UNDELIVERED 737 MAX JETS
Boeing suppliers said they have been given three potential schedules for resuming production, ranging from about 100 to 300 planes this year, depending on when assembly starts. Boeing has said it doesn't expect approval of new software and training regimens for the plane until midyear.