Boeing said Wednesday it resumed low-rate production of the 737 MAX at the company’s Renton, Washington factory.
“We’ve been on a continuous journey to evolve our production system and make it even stronger,” said Walt Odisho, vice president and general manager of the 737 program. “These initiatives are the next step in creating the optimal build environment for the 737 MAX.”
The announcement came on the same day that Boeing notified 6,770 workers they were losing their jobs. Another 5,520 workers have taken voluntary buyout offers.
Boeing expects to have the largest presence out of its home country, in India. “Over the next couple of years, we expect Boeing’s India presence to be the largest outside of the US. We’re investing in commercial and defense across the development of aerospace technology, innovation, production capacity, supply chain, aerospace skilling centers, manufacturing and the modernization of airport infrastructure and airspace,” Boeing India president Salil Gupte told Times of India on May 27.
In late April, the company reported dismal first-quarter results owing to the double whammy of coronavirus and 737 MAX grounding. The airplane was involved in two fatal crashes in 2018 with a combined death toll of 346.
First quarter order cancellations for the 737 MAX jet alone stands at 191.
The 737 program will gradually ramp up production this year- It plans to build 31 MAX planes per month in 2021.
“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 company said in a statement.
“The steps we’ve taken in the factory will help drive our goal of 100 percent quality for our customers while supporting our ongoing commitment to workplace safety,” said Scott Stocker, vice president of 737 Manufacturing.