Business

Boeing boss expects 737 Max to fly again

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO: Boeing chief executive Dave Calhoun said the US planemaker expects to resume 737 Max production months before its forecast mid-year return to service and said it did not plan to suspend or cut its dividend.

The company announced a production halt last month, when the global grounding of the fast-selling 737 Max following two deadly crashes in five months looked set to last into mid-2020 - a timeline pushed back after Boeing endorsed new simulator training for pilots.

Mr Calhoun said the company is not considering scrapping the Max and expects it will continue to fly for a generation.

"I am all in on it and the company is all in on it," Mr Calhoun said, adding that Boeing will not launch a marketing campaign to get customers to get back on 737 Max planes.

The company said on Tuesday it now expects regulators to approve the plane's return to service in the middle of the year.

Mr Calhoun said he did not see recent issues raised about wiring or software as "serious problems".

The production delay threatens to cut US gross domestic product by as much as 0.5 percentage points. US President Donald Trump on Wednesday told CNBC that Boeing is a "very disappointing company".

Mr Calhoun declined to provide a specific date for resumption of production but said it "will be reinvigorated months before that moment in June because we have to get that line started up again". - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE