Boeing has resumed production of its 737 Max aeroplane, the company has announced.
The controversial Boeing 737 Max was grounded across the world following concerns over the aeroplane’s safety.
This includes Comair, which operates the Kulula and British Airways flights in South Africa, grounding the plane in March 2019.
This followed an Ethiopian Airlines flight using the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashing, killing all 157 passengers.
This was the second of these planes to crash in five months, following a Lion Air aircraft crashing and killing its 189 passengers.
Boeing previously predicted that the plane, which remains grounded in countries such as the US and the UK, as well as in South Africa, would be ungrounded in mid-2020.
Fixing the problem
Boeing said that it has begun building these aeroplanes at a slower rate, and is implementing over a dozen initiatives to improve workplace safety and product quality.
“We’ve been on a continuous journey to evolve our production system and make it even stronger,” said vice president and general manager of the Boeing 737 program Walt Odisho.
“These initiatives are the next step in creating the optimal build environment for the 737 Max.”
Boeing said that since the production of the plane was suspended in January, its mechanics and engineers have worked together to standardise work packages in each position of the factory.
It added that new kitting processes will also ensure that employees are fully equipped to build the aeroplane.
Production of the Boeing 737 will initially be limited to just one of Boeing’s three commercial lines at its factory in Renton, Washington.
A second line will be reactivated next year, and the goal is to ultimately reach a production rate of 31 aeroplanes per month in 2021.
“The steps we’ve taken in the factory will help drive our goal of 100% quality for our customers while supporting our ongoing commitment to workplace safety,” said vice president of 737 manufacturing Scott Stocker.