Boeing on Thursday said it's resumed production of the 737 Max after previously following two crashes that killed 346 people. The company says the 737 program started "building airplanes at a low rate" as it incorporates more than a dozen initiatives aimed at improving workplace safety and product quality.
"We've been on a continuous journey to evolve our production system and make it even stronger," Walt Odisho, vice president and general manager of the 737 program, said in a statement. "These initiatives are the next step in creating the optimal build environment for the 737 MAX."
All of Boeing's 737 Max planes were grounded worldwide in March 2019 following deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Official reports for both crashes have largely blamed the aircraft's design, specifically a flight control system unique to the Max series. Since the temporary production suspension starting in January, Boeing says it has fixed the problems and that mechanics and engineers have been working to "refine and standardize work packages in each position of the factory."
The company says the 737 program will gradually increase production this year. But because the Federal Aviation Administration has yet to schedule a certification flight, a necessary step before it can carry passengers again, Boeing has not yet said when the Max could return to service.