Boeing’s new CEO David Calhoun revealed Wednesday the company plans to resume the production of the 737 MAX this spring.
According to The Associated Press, Calhoun dismissed claims that the 737 MAX would never fly again or its name would be changed, but admitted the planes would return to production months before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifies the grounded fleet to fly again.
An FAA spokesperson told The AP the agency is not rushing the approval process and will conduct a “thorough and deliberate” investigation before clearing the MAX to fly again. There is no timetable for finishing the review.
The CEO also said he believes passengers will fly on the impacted planes and pilots will have no problem working the MAX flights once they are cleared by FAA regulators. Calhoun took the job after former CEO Dennis Muilenburg was fired earlier this month.
“I’m all in on it, the company is all in on it, and I believe the FAA is all in on it,” Calhoun said about the troubled MAX fleet on a conference call. “We got to get that line started up again. And the supply chain will be reinvigorated even before that.”
While Calhoun went on to defend Boeing’s culture and deny allegations that the company prioritized profit over safety, he called the “shocking” internal communications that showed employees ridiculing the plane and the approval process “appalling.”
The decision to restart production on the 737 MAX planes comes days after Boeing revealed the re-certification of its troubled planes would be delayed until at least “mid-2020,” with flights operated by the impacted aircraft not taking off until the fall or later.
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