Boeing will halt 737 production in January, following two fatal MAX crashes
By Eric M. Johnson and David Shepardson SEATTLE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co said on Monday it will halt 737 commercial production in January as the grounding of its best-selling MAX following two fatal crashes within five months looks set to last well into next year, a move that could hit its global supply chain and the U.S. economy
By Eric M. Johnson and David Shepardson
SEATTLE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co
The decision, made by Boeing's board after a two-day meeting in Chicago, follows news last week that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would not approve the plane's return to service before 2020.
Boeing will not lay off any employees during the production freeze, it said.
The 737 MAX has been grounded since March after two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people within five months, costing the plane manufacturer more than $9 billion so far.
Until now Boeing has continued to produce 737 MAX jets at a rate of 42 per month and purchase parts from suppliers at a rate of up to 52 units per month, even though deliveries are frozen until regulators approve the aircraft to fly commercially again.
Halting production will ease a severe squeeze on cash tied up in roughly 375 undelivered planes, but only at the risk of causing industrial problems when Boeing tries to return to normal, industry sources said. Supply chains are already under strain due to record demand and abrupt changes in factory speed can cause snags.
In 1997, Boeing announced a hit of $2.6 billion including hundreds of millions to deal with factory inefficiencies after it was forced to suspend output of its 737 and 747 lines due to supply chain problems.
Aside from additional 737 MAX charges, disruptions to production could also result in layoffs or furloughs of some of the 12,000 workers at Boeing's 737 factory south of Seattle. Boeing said it will continue P8 production of the military version of the 737.
Boeing's shares closed down 4% on Monday and fell 1% after hours. Shares in Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc
Spirit, which makes the MAX fuselage along with other parts such as pylons, said on Monday it would work with Boeing to understand any changes to the production rate.
Analysts highlighted Safran SA
Airlines with 737 MAX jets and orders also face added uncertainty after already scaling back flying schedules and delaying growth plans due to the grounding. Southwest Airlines Co
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle and Tim Hepher in Paris; Additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington, Tracy Rucinski in Chicago and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.