Boeing is delaying its 737 Max production expansion after the Alaska Airlines door plug incident

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Boeing is delaying its 737 Max production expansion after the Alaska Airlines door plug incident
Boeing had been ramping up production rates for the 737 Max jets before the Alaska Airlines incident in January drew FAA scrutiny.Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images
  • Boeing is delaying production expansion of its 737 Max planes, according to a report.
  • An Alaska Airlines flight lost a chunk of its fuselage in flight in January.
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Boeing is holding off on a planned expansion of production for its 737 Max planes after an Alaska Airlines flight lost a chunk of the plane while airborne in January.

Boeing's supply chain had previously been told to ramp up production rates from 38 aircraft per month to 42 as of February 2024, and then up to 47 in August, Reuters reported on Friday, citing Boeing's 737 supplier master schedule. But the company has delayed those plans in the wake of the Alaska Airlines incident earlier this year.

On January 5, an Alaska Airlines flight from Portland, Oregon, to Ontario, California, had to make an emergency landing after the plane's door plug fell off at about 16,000 feet. Photos and videos taken by passengers showed a gaping hole in the side of the aircraft while the plane made an emergency landing.

Jennifer Homendy, the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the incident could have been "much more tragic" if people had been seated in the chairs next to the door plug.

The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily grounded 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 planes on January 6 following the incident. The agency grounded the planes until each one could complete a safety inspection, which takes around eight hours to complete, it said at the time.

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Later in January, the FAA barred Boeing from increasing production of all 737 Max planes. The company's latest 737 supplier schedule shows that some expansions planned for February are now scheduled for June, Reuters reported.

On February 28, the FAA gave Boeing 90 days to complete a quality-control plan to address quality issues that the agency found in an investigation following the Alaska Airlines incident.

Boeing did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment Saturday.

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