Boeing has announced that the once hailed gamechanger aircraft production is up and running again as of May 27, 2020. The Renton, Washington, United States facility is assembling the 737 MAX at a low rate, with a gradual ramp-up planned later in 2020.
The 737 MAX assembly line will power up once again after production was halted in January 2020 after the groundings of the jet had been prolonged due to issues that the FAA discovered during the recertification process. Numerous other issues, including problems with the wiring, foreign object debris (FOD) and software were amongst the newly discovered problems with the aircraft.
Boeing used the downtime to improve the quality of its 737 MAX assembly line, as it implemented “more than a dozen initiatives focused on enhancing workplace safety and product quality.”
Vice president and the general manager of the 737 program Walt Odisho stated that Boeing was on “a continuous journey to evolve its production system,” which would create “the optimal build environment for the 737 MAX.”
However, all is not rosy at the company. Boeing has started an involuntary layoff program that will affect more than 6,700 United States-based employees. The manufacturer concluded its voluntary layoff initiative last month.
Furthermore, more and more customers are swaying from the Boeing 737 MAX. Over the course of the year, the company lost 521 net orders for the jet. When it suspended production in January 2020, the backlog was over 4,500. Now, the backlog shrunk to more than 3,800 jets.
But not everyone lost hope in the jet. Ryanair’s chief executive officer Michael O’Leary still believes in the aircraft. O’Leary stated that the narrow-body will be key in taking additional market share in Europe as the industry starts to show signs of recovery.