Boeing CEO stands by plans to increase 737 Max production despite recent flaw

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A Boeing 737 MAX 8 sits outside the hangar during a media tour of the Boeing 737 MAX at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington.
Matt Mcknight | Reuters

Boeing‘s CEO Dave Calhoun said that a flaw detected in some of its 737 Max planes won’t hinder its supply-chain plans for increased production of its best-selling jetliner this year.

On Thursday, Boeing disclosed a problem with two of several brackets in the aft fuselage of some 737 Max planes, including the most popular model, the Max 8, and said it would likely result in reduced deliveries of the planes.

The company is not changing its schedule with suppliers, including “anticipated rate increases,” Calhoun said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting Tuesday. Boeing is also comfortable holding extra stock of aircraft supplies “so our supply chain can keep its pace,” Calhoun added.

Shares of Spirit Aerosystems, which makes the fuselages, and Boeing each rose on Calhoun’s comments.

The latest issue comes as airlines are eager to receive new planes ahead of what’s expected to be a busy summer travel season. Boeing is also planning to increase production of the planes, a goal that has proved challenging as the supply chain recovers from the pandemic.

Calhoun said Tuesday the company is assessing the impact of the issue on 737 Max deliveries and apologized to customers but didn’t provide more detail. He said the issue doesn’t affect the company’s long-term guidance.

He said that Max jetliners that aren’t affected by the flaw will continue to be delivered to airlines.

“We know what we have to do,” he said.

Boeing is scheduled to report first-quarter results on April 26.

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