CHICAGO: Boeing is temporarily cutting production of its best-selling 737 airliners in the continuing fall-out from crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. The production will drop from 52 planes a month to 42 from mid-April, Boeing has said in a statement.
The decision is a response to a halt in deliveries of the 737 Max — the model involved in the two accidents, the BBC reported.
The plane is currently grounded as preliminary findings suggest its anti-stall system was at fault. An Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crashed only minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa in March, killing all 157 people on board.
The same type flown by the Indonesian airline Lion Air crashed into the sea only five months earlier, shortly after taking off from Jakarta. That accident claimed the lives of 189 people.
In both cases, preliminary findings showed the pilots had wrestled with the anti-stall system, known as MCAS, which caused the planes to nose-dive repeatedly.
A report from the Ethiopian authorities issued on Thursday said the pilots of flight ET302 “repeatedly” followed procedures recommended by Boeing before the crash.
“We now know that the recent Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents were caused by a chain of events, with a common chain link being erroneous activation of the aircraft’s MCAS function.
We have the responsibility to eliminate this risk, and we know how to do it,” the statement from Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg said. He repeated that Boeing was making progress on updating the MCAS software and finalising new training for Max pilots.