Boeing Executive Suggests FAA Review May Lead to Alterations in 737 Production Timeline

A senior executive from Boeing has requested its suppliers to continue with their current production schedule for their 737 aircraft. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been conducting an audit of the company's production line for one of its aircraft identified as the 737 MAX. This audit may result in changes to the production schedule. In an email sent to suppliers on January 22, Boeing confirmed that its 737 master schedule would remain unchanged.


This announcement came after a mid-air cabin panel blowout on a MAX 9 aircraft on January 5. The supplier master schedule, which outlines the expected production rate for suppliers, calls for a production rate of 42 737s per month from this month onwards. However, the FAA has already limited Boeing's 737 production line to 38 aircraft per month while it investigates Boeing's manufacturing processes. 


Depending on the duration of the production limit, this could result in Boeing lagging behind its supply chain. Speaking at an aerospace supplier conference outside Seattle, Boeing's supply chain head, Ihssane Mounir, requested suppliers to be patient. He acknowledged that suppliers have already hired workers and made investments ahead of the planned ramp-up. Mounir assured suppliers that Boeing would work with them on an individual basis, whether that is building inventory or addressing their business requirements. 

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Boeing has been facing a safety and reputational crisis since the January 5 incident involving a recently delivered Alaska Airlines MAX 9 aircraft. Mounir further urged suppliers to be transparent about any issues that could lead to a breakdown in quality. He also requested suppliers to discuss any business requirements that need to be addressed to help improve their stability and quality. Recently, Boeing issued guidance to its supply chain to reduce traveled work on the 737 program. Traveled work refers to the completion of work on a production line out of the ordinary sequence.

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