[Ed. note: The headline and top of this story have been reworded for clarity.]
By Dan Catchpole
Feb. 8, 2024 © Leeham News: The head of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes supply chain told suppliers to keep making parts for the 737 MAX at the existing production schedule while the Federal Aviation Administration scrutinizes Boeing's production of the single-aisle jetliner. He added that the production pace could be affected by the FAA's audit results, which are expected in March.
"I would ask all of you to bear with us," BCA senior vice president of Global Supply Chain and Fabrication Ihssane Mounir said at an aerospace supplier conference on Wednesday. "Let us get through this process with the FAA, the audit process, and see what the findings are and how we mitigate those findings...and what it's going to take to get back to the production rates as we forecasted them before."
The current schedule has the 737 production lines going to 42 airplanes per month starting this month. However, in the wake of a door plug panel blowing out of a two-month-old 737 MAX 9 flown by Alaska Airlines, the FAA on Jan. 24, told Boeing it could not increase the production rate past 38 airplanes per month. The planemaker already had been struggling to deliver that many MAXes each month.
Mounir said quality and safety trump every other concern and that Boeing and its suppliers have to get back to basics when it comes to ensuring quality. For the time being, he told suppliers, "If you have an issue, please call, and we'll work with you."