Boeing announced that it will temporarily cut production of the 737 Max aircraft.
The decision was made amid an escalating crisis for the company after two of its 737 Max planes were involved in fatal crashes.
In March, an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crashed near the town of Bishoftu just six minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people aboard.
Last October, an Indonesian Lion Air 737 Max crashed into the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff, claiming the lives of all 189 passengers and crew.
Production down to 42 airplanes per month
“We have decided to temporarily move from a production rate of 52 airplanes per month to 42 airplanes per month starting in mid-April,” Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement Friday.
Preliminary findings indicate that the activation of an anti-stall software, known as MCAS, played a role in the accident.
“We now know that the recent Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents were caused by a chain of events, with a common chain link being erroneous activation of the aircraft’s MCAS function. We have the responsibility to eliminate this risk, and we know how to do it.”
“As we continue to work through these steps, we’re adjusting the 737 production system temporarily to accommodate the pause in MAX deliveries, allowing us to prioritize additional resources to focus on software certification and returning the MAX to flight. We have decided to temporarily move from a production rate of 52 airplanes per month to 42 airplanes per month starting in mid-April.
“At a production rate of 42 airplanes per month, the 737 program and related production teams will maintain their current employment levels while we continue to invest in the broader health and quality of our production system and supply chain.”
The statement also said that a new committee is being established to review “company-wide policies and processes for the design and development of the airplanes we build.”