Embattled aerospace company Boeing has told suppliers that it intends to boost production of its flagship 737 jet model in early 2020, according to a report on Thursday.
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Company officials said at a July 30 meeting that it will produce 737 planes at a rate of 52 per month starting in February 2020, Reuters reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter. Boeing plans to ramp up to a record 57 planes per month by next June.
The production hike is contingent on whether the Federal Aviation Administration allows the 737 MAX to return to the skies in the fourth quarter of 2019, the report said. The plane has been grounded for months after a software glitch led to a pair of deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.
Cowen analyst Cai Von Rumohr said Thursday that the FAA could conduct a re-certification flight for the 737 MAX within four to six weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported. Boeing shares rallied more than 4 percent on the developments.
The FAA has yet to say if or when the aircraft will return to commercial use. Boeing officials have said further production cuts could occur if the grounding lingers.
Boeing slashed production of 737 Max planes by about 20 percent starting last April as the company contended with grounding. At the time, CEO Dennis Muilenberg said the decision would allow Boeing to “prioritize additional resources to focus on software certification and returning the MAX to flight.”