Boeing faces another setback in the production of its 737 Max jets, as a memo to employees from Stan Deal, head of the company’s commercial aircraft unit, reveals that about 50 undelivered planes will need rework due to mis-drilled holes. The issue was flagged by an employee at Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems. Although it is not considered an immediate flight safety problem, this development adds to Boeing’s recent challenges, including an incident on an Alaska Airlines flight involving a blown-out door plug. The memo acknowledges that Boeing has faced quality problems, both with suppliers and within its own production facilities.
The ongoing issues are a blow to Boeing’s reputation, already battered by multiple challenges over the past five years, including the design flaw in the 737 Max that resulted in two fatal crashes, the grounding of the aircraft for 20 months, and the recent incident on the Alaska Airlines flight. Boeing CEO David Calhoun acknowledged the company’s responsibility for the problems and emphasized the need for improvement. The memo highlights that Boeing’s 737 Max factory in Renton, Washington, will dedicate time to addressing the latest problem, emphasizing the importance of quality, safety, and stability.
Boeing’s reliance on suppliers for assembling key aircraft components, as part of cost-cutting measures, has faced criticism, with the memo acknowledging that not all supplier products meet Boeing’s standards. Deal emphasizes the importance of maintaining discipline within the company and holding suppliers to the same standard. Boeing has experienced delays and halted deliveries in the past due to issues with both the 737 Max and the 787 Dreamliner, impacting airline customers and contributing to ongoing financial losses. The recent memo underscores Boeing’s commitment to addressing these challenges, aiming for improved overall quality and stability in its production processes.