Boeing’s planning hinges on the scale of disruptions from the fast spreading coronavirus, and U.S. regulators clearing the 737 MAX to return to service, a milestone Boeing still expects to reach in mid-2020.
One industry source said Boeing has asked some suppliers to be ready to ship 737 parts in April. Another person said production was planned to restart in May. A third person said coronavirus is throwing a wrench in Boeing’s plans - they had initially hoped for April, but that fell to May.
The coronavirus pandemic has shattered global travel demand, upended lives for millions and wiped billions off Boeing’s market value, compounding a year-old crisis over the grounding of the 737 MAX after crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia killed 346 people.
Boeing Co <BA.N> plans to restart 737 MAX production by May, ending a months-long halt triggered by a safety ban on its best-selling jet after fatal crashes, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.