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Boeing To Reduce Production Of 737 MAXs In Wake Of Two Deadly Crashes

After two recent crashes involving the 737 MAX aircraft, Boeing says it is reducing production of the plane by 20 per cent.

Boeing Co plans to reduce its monthly 737 aircraft production by nearly 20 per cent as it works to manage the grounding of its MAX aircraft in the wake of two deadly crashes, the company says.

Deliveries of Boeing's best-selling aircraft were frozen after a global grounding of the narrowbody model following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet on March 10.

Starting mid-April, production will be cut to 42 planes per month from 52, the company said in a statement.

READ MORE: Australia Bans Boeing 737 Max From Flying In Or Out Of The Country

The company now knows that a chain of events caused a Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October and the Ethiopia disaster, with erroneous activation of so-called MCAS anti-stall software "a common link" between the two.

Safety concerns about the model of aircraft were first raised in October 2018 after a Lion Air flight in Indonesia crashed, killing all 189 people aboard. IMAGE: Getty Images

Boeing said it continues to make progress on a 737 MAX software update to prevent accidents like these from ever happening again.

Boeing had been planning to speed up production again in June to 57 a month.

Shares in Boeing Co fell around one per cent after the market closed on Friday.

The 737 MAX is banned from flying in most countries across the world following the Ethiopia crash that killed all 157 people on board.

READ MORE: Boeing Grounds Entire Fleet Of 737 Max Planes After Mounting Pressure

Boeing faces logistical issues in finding places to park the growing number of grounded 737 MAX planes as well as being responsible for all their maintenance costs since it has been unable to deliver the jets to customers, two people briefed on the situation said.

Manufacturers avoid halting and then resuming production as this disrupts supply chains and can cause industrial snags.

One source said it would take up to six months to re-start production of such a complex supply chain once it had been stopped, but cautioned a complete halt was unlikely.

Having to hold planes in storage without delivering them does, however, consume extra cash through increased inventory.