Boeing slows 737 Max production beginning in mid-April

Boeing’s shares were down 2.3% in after-hours trading Friday.

The FAA, after initially calling the plane “airworthy,” joined the rest of the world on March 13 in grounding the Max.

At the time, Boeing said it had no plans to cut production and many analysts agreed with the decision. Jose Caiado, airline analyst at Credit Suisse, said in mid-March that he expected Boeing to keep the assembly lines rolling at current levels so it didn’t disrupt supply chains.

“They will just have to carry that inventory on their balance sheet a little while longer,” he told CNBC.

Boeing says it hopes to have a software fix for the 737 Max in the coming weeks that it will submit to the FAA and international regulators for approval. Their review and a potential certification could take several more weeks, even months, meaning the 737 Max could be grounded well into June, if not later. As a result, Boeing has decided it is smarter to roll fewer 737s out of its plant in Renton, Washington.

Separately, Muilenburg says the Boeing board of directors has formed a committee to “review our company-wide policies and processes for the design and development of the airplanes we build.”

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