Supply chain constraints and shortage of labour delay Boeing 737 MAX production

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A global pandemic and a complete breakdown in the supply chain system has hit the aviation industry hard. Boeing, one of the world’s biggest aviation companies has not been untouched by the effects either. On Monday, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun stated that his company will not be able to increase the production of its controversial yet best-selling 737 MAX, due to supply chain constraints, majorly concerning the engines. 

It is quite remarkable that a sector that was earlier bleeding due to lack of demand at the peak of the pandemic, is now troubled by the lack of supplies. 

“It is the story of the show. Yes, it applies to us. averages don’t work very well for customers; predictability does. We have to be at 31 every month, consistently and predictably. We need our customer’s commitment at every step of the way but we are not there yet. We’ll get into rate increases when we get into rate increases, but the supply chain isn’t ready for it yet,” said Dave Calhoun.

Read more: Boeing cuts 20-year outlook for planes

Engine procurement delay and lack of labour force

Calhoun further revealed that it was delayed procurement of engines from the makers that was delaying the aircraft production. “The supply constraints are in the engine world without a doubt and we have known that. And that will be the constraint for at least the next 18 months. We will work our way through that,”

The fragility of the supply chain system across the world was exposed in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic. While the economies around the planet have started to open up, skilled and unskilled labour is still hard to find. Even Boeing is having a tough time assembling the right workers for its aircraft production. “There are a lot of things we can’t get done because we don’t have the people,” added Calhoun. 

Boeing’s competitor Airbus has nudged ahead of it in recent times. If the supply chain constraints are not sorted, the gap is expected to widen further. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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