Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg calls the global 737 MAX grounding a “defining moment” for the company.
Speaking at the Jefferies Global Industrials Conference on August 7, 2019, Muilenburg opened his speech by expressing “deep sympathies” to families and communities of the victims of two Boeing 737 MAX crashes. Muilenburg says the accidents “continue to weigh heavily” on the company.
The subsequent worldwide MAX grounding and the current situation is the “defining moment” for the company, “one where we will reinforce our values and stay true to those values of safety, quality and integrity,” said Muilenburg.
Meanwhile, Boeing is working on the aircraft software update and finalizing the recertification plans. It anticipates submitting recertification package in September 2019, while the earliest date on when the MAX could take up to the skies again remains at the “early” fourth quarter 2019. However, the latter date remains dependent on regulatory approval by regulators around the world.
If the recertification is prolonged, Boeing is still looking at “hard” scenarios, Muilenburg states, including reducing the production rate or even “ temporary shut down” of MAX production. At the moment, the company still produces 42 MAXs per month, with hopes to increase the production to 57/month next year.
As for the airlines that both have their current MAX grounded and are looking at delivery delays in the future, Muleiburg states they remain the company’s “firm partners”, adding Boeing “had no order cancellations”.