SEATTLE, Washington: Following the impact of the Covid lockdowns followed by supply chain shortages, Boeing company has reported that it is working to stabilize manufacturing of the 737 MAX at its targeted monthly production rate.
During a tour of Boeing's single-aisle factory south of Seattle, the first since the jet was grounded in 2019 following two crashes that killed 346 people, Dennis Eng, the company's 737 Program Business Operations Director, told reporters, "We have been ramping up to 31 a month. I think we hopefully expect to get there later this year."
"Really, it depends on making sure that we have got the right number of trained personnel and the parts available on time. For what we have got in the factory right now, we have the parts that we need," he said.
Boeing is focusing on the supply chain and rooting out problems, as well as hiring mechanics and engineers needed to avoid shortfalls that hit Boeing during the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
In May, jet production and deliveries were slowed by a shortage of required wiring connectors and labor shortages magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Boeing stated.
Supply chain problems and certification and industrial problems have affected the company's jet portfolio and curbed its ability to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and the 737 MAX safety crisis.
Production and delivery delays have also affected Boeing's ability to take advantage of resurgent demand for planes after the pandemic.
At a separate event earlier this week, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said, "Demand for airplanes is as robust as I've ever seen it. I think it will get more robust."
The demand for airplanes "is more than a bubble," he added.