Boeing warned on Thursday that concerns over a supplier’s work on the fuselages could cause the manufacturing and delivery of a “significant number” of its 737 Max aircraft to be delayed.
According to Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems, the supplier, utilized a “non-standard manufacturing process” when installing fittings on some 737s close to the back.
Exacting government criteria must be met while manufacturing and installing aircraft parts.
Boeing said it had contacted the Federal Aviation Administration about the issue and is working to check planes and repair fittings where necessary.
However, the firm claimed the situation is not an imminent safety risk and planes already in flight “can continue operating safely.”
According to the FAA, “based on the facts and data Boeing presented, the FAA validated the company’s assessment that there is no immediate safety issue.”
The parts problem is Boeing’s most recent setback. After two fatal crashes, all Max aircraft were grounded globally for almost two years, and during the past three years, production problems have repeatedly prevented the larger 787 airliners from taking off.
Spirit provides all Max jets’ fuselages. However, it is not the only source for the fixtures. As a result, the Max-9 model’s production is unaffected by the current circumstances.
Spirit, a Wichita, Kansas-based company, said it “identified a quality issue” on the back of some Max fuselages and informed Boeing of it.
The company stated, “We have procedures to address these production issues upon identification, which we are following.
Due to the recent discovery of the problem, a Boeing spokesperson said on Thursday that the company could not specify the precise number of affected aircraft.
In after-hours trade, shares of Boeing, based in Arlington, Virginia, dropped more than 5%, while those of Spirit dropped around 7%.