Boeing is set to temporarily cut its production of the 737 airliner as the fall-out of crashes involving the model in Ethiopa and Indonesia continue.
According to ANI news reports, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg was quoted was saying, "We have chose to temporarily move from a production rate of 52 aeroplanes per month to 42 aeroplanes per month starting in mid-April".
USA and airline officials said they now believe the plane could be grounded for at least two months, but an even longer grounding is a serious possibility. In October past year, 189 people died when Lion Air's flight ET302 crashed off the coast of Indonesia.
A preliminary flight investigation report has pinned the blame on a faulty flight control system, one that pilots were reportedly "fighting" barely a minute after taking off. Boeing's CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, identified erroneous activation of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) as having added to "what is already a high workload environment" for the pilots.
A Boeing spokesman called it a "relatively minor issue" and said the plane maker already has a fix in the works.
The company's board will establish a committee to review how the company designs and develops airplanes, Muilenburg said.
The 737 MAX was grounded by the world's aviation authorities after the Ethiopia crash.
Boeing is finalising new pilot training courses and educational material for airlines using the MAX.
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Boeing shares closed at USD391.93, down USD3.93.
Boeing has delivered fewer than 400 Max jets but has a backlog of more than 4,600 unfilled orders. "Safety is our responsibility, and we own it, " he said.
Analysts say the absence of deliveries will eat into Boeing's cash flow because it gets most of the cost of a plane upon delivery.
"At a production rate of 42 airplanes per month, the 737 program and related production teams will maintain their current employment levels while we continue to invest in the broader health and quality of our production system and supply chain", Boeing continued.
USA investigators reviewed the data from "black boxes" which were aboard Ethiopian airlines flight 302, four people familiar with the probe reports told Reuters.
Former NTSB chairman Christopher Hart was named by the Federal Aviation Administration this week to head an global team to review the safety of the 737 MAX.
"This is territory we are going to see more of", Hart said.