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Boeing Considers Suspending 737 MAX Production

Boeing’s board is holding an year-end board meeting in Chicago on Sunday and a decision on the production of 737 MAX could come as soon as Monday morning.

The meeting is being held after FAA chief Steve Dickson told CNBC last week that the regulator likely wouldn’t clear the 737 Max’s return until some time in 2020. The announcement shot down all hopes by Boeing to get the plane back in service by the end of this year.

The Max has been grounded since March after two crashes that killed 346 people. Boeing’s hopes of when it might return to service have been repeatedly pushed back as the US Federal Aviation Administration and regulators from Europe to China raise fresh questions about its proposed fixes.

The company cut its production of the Max by a fifth in April, to 42 planes per month, triggering billions of dollars of charges. It has disclosed a $5.6bn hit to profit for customer compensation and a further $3.6bn in additional cost to the 737 programme.

It had hoped to raise its output to 57 in 2020 but another cut or a temporary halt to production was on the table at the board meeting and could lead to billions of dollars of new charges.

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