Without the usual fanfare, Boeing has resumed B737 Max production at its’ Renton, Washington assembly plant.
Boeing has announced it resumed the production of B737 MAX narrow-bodies at its Renton site, nearly half a year after it was interrupted for reasons unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American manufacturer said that it restarted the production “at a low rate”, without specifying how many units per month it plans to complete. It added that it would “gradually ramp up” the production rate over the coming months.
Boeing suspended the production of the MAX in January 2020 due to the costs and logistical challenges of storing built but undelivered aircraft. Between the type’s grounding in mid-March 2019 and the suspension of the production, Boeing built over 400 units.
“During the temporary suspension of production that began in January, mechanics and engineers collaborated to refine and standardize work packages in each position of the factory. New kitting processes will also ensure that employees have everything they need at their fingertips to build the airplane,” the manufacturer said.
Boeing 737 program vice-president and general manager Walt Odisho said: “We’ve been on a continuous journey to evolve our production system and make it even stronger. These initiatives are the next step in creating the optimal build environment for the 737 MAX.”
While no formal timeline for the recertification of the B737 MAX has ever been confirmed, Boeing hopes to restart the type’s deliveries “mid-2020”.