By Eric M. Johnson
SEATTLE (Reuters) – Boeing Co said on Thursday it was pausing deliveries of its 737 MAX aircraft to customers following the grounding of the jetliner around the world, as the world’s largest planemaker responds to its worst crises in years.
The 737 MAX has been banned from flying in most countries after an Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday that killed all 157 people on board. This was a second deadly incident involving the relatively new Boeing model in five months. In October, a Lion Air jet crashed in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.
Boeing said it had paused deliveries of its fastest-selling 737 MAX jetliner built at its factory near Seattle because of the temporary grounding order by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, confirming a Reuters report from Wednesday.
“We continue to build 737 MAX airplanes while assessing how the situation, including potential capacity constraints, will impact our production system,” Boeing spokesman Chaz Bickers said.
Boeing said it would continue its production rate of 52 aircraft per month, though its MAX version would not be delivered to airlines or leasing companies.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool)