Boeing 737 Max chief retires as planes stay grounded

Darnell Taylor
July 13, 2019

United Airlines extended its grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft through early November amid continued testing of the beleaguered passenger jet, the Chicago-based company announced Friday. The airliner has a fleet that includes 14 of these Boeing jets, which were grounded following two deadly crashes involving the 737 Max model.

Jenks faces daunting challenges, including untangling a backlog of undelivered planes, getting production back on course for planned output increases, and finishing development of the 737 MAX 10, the largest Boeing single-aisle jet, sources said.

Taking Lindblad's place as the lead of the 737 program and the Renton, Washington, factory will be Mark Jenks, who has been leading Boeing's potential new mid-market airplane project, McAllister said. Jenks previously managed the Boeing 787 program.

Once regulators approve the MAX for flight, each aircraft will likely require between 100 and 150 hours of maintenance preparation before flying, in addition to new pilot training, airline officials have said.

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Boeing is working to fix flight control software that appeared to play a role in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, according to preliminary accident reports.

Lindblad took over the 737 program previous year as Boeing delivered orders of its highly anticipated next generation of the venerable 737, the 737 Max. He said during his time running the 737 program, Lindblad "has navigated some of the most hard challenges our company has ever faced".

Boeing's chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said via Twitter that "there's an additional flight condition we must address" in order to address safety issues.

Boeing Co. shares rose $6.70, or 1.9 per cent, to close at $359.

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