Boeing will temporarily halt production of its 737 MAX aircraft in January, amid ongoing safety reviews of the MAX 8 following two high-profile fatal crashes in the last year.
In a statement, the aircraft manufacturer said that it will suspend further production of the planes and instead focus on delivery of the approximately 400 aircraft in storage, citing the unresolved status of the ongoing review of the planes by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and global regulatory authorities, who are still determining when the MAX 8 will return to service.
The aircraft was grounded earlier this year following two fatal crashes: in March, an Ethiopian Airlines MAX 8 flight killed 157 people (including 18 Canadians) while in October 2018, a Lion Air MAX 8 crashed in the Java Sea, killing 189.
According to Boeing, it does not plan to lay off any employees as a result of the decision, with workers continuing 737-related work of temporarily reassigned to other projects.
“We believe this decision is least disruptive to maintaining long-term production system and supply chain health, Boeing said. “This decision is driven by a number of factors, including the extension of certification into 2020, the uncertainty about the timing and conditions of return to service and global training approvals, and the importance of ensuring that we can prioritize the delivery of stored aircraft. We will continue to assess our progress towards return to service milestones and make determinations about resuming production and deliveries accordingly.”
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