In a move that isn’t particularly surprising to anyone who has been following the woes of aircraft manufacturer Boeing, the company has now officially halted production of the troubled 737 Max aircraft. As CNN reports, the manufacturer has frozen the assembly facility that was constructing the popular planes.
The 737 Max was grounded worldwide in early 2019 after the second of two fatal crashes that appear to have been related to flight control software that was acting up. Boeing has since rolled out software updates but new problems continue to pop up, preventing the FAA from clearing the aircraft for service.
The good news — if there is any to be found in this completely messed up situation — is that the workers who were previously tasked with constructing the 737 Max will remain employed with Boeing and will not be laid off or furloughed, according to the company. Still, with the planes not being built, suppliers will be affected.
At this point, it’s still completely unclear whether the 737 Max will ever take the skies again. With so many of the aircraft already in the hands of airlines, and Boeing ready to deliver on countless new orders, it seems unlikely that the planes would be entirely scrapped, but the longer the vehicles sit in storage, the more Boeing’s bottom line suffers.
Even if the planes are cleared to fly again, the question of whether travelers will even want to climb aboard remains to be answered. Boeing maintains that it’s not planning on rebranding the planes, but airlines have reportedly considered doing just that, in the hopes of reassuring customers that the planes are new and improved and not the same as the jets that crashed and claimed hundreds of lives.