As we approach the end of the first full week of April, there are two noteworthy developments that will interest supply chain management teams.

In this first update, the Supply Chain Matters blog highlight more unfortunate news concerning Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft.

Sixteen airlines were today instructed to ground upwards of 60 of their 737 MAX aircraft to address a suspected issue with the aircraft’s backup electrical power system. In a statement, Boeing indicated that it wants specific airlines to check and verify that “a sufficient ground path exists for a component of the electrical power system.”

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicated that Boeing notified the agency of the recommendation to temporarily ground certain aircraft to address a manufacturing issue that could affect the operation of the backup power control system.

Boeing 737 MAX

Reuters reported that Boeing had traced the issue to a production change that occurred prior to the worldwide grounding that occurred in March 2019. Thus, the issue is likely present in the most recently delivered aircraft. The manufacturer has reiterated that this backup electrical power issue to not related to the aircraft’s former troubled aircraft control system.

According to a report from Business Broadcast Network CNBC, Southwest Airlines grounded 30 of its MAX aircraft, while American Airlines grounded 17 of its fleet of 41 MAX aircraft. United Airlines grounded 16 of its existing fleet of 30 MAX aircraft.

At this point it is unclear as to how long these select aircraft will be grounded, or whether inspections can be quickly completed.

Readers might recall that after the 20-month grounding f this particular aircraft, along with its subsequent billions of dollars in losses, Boeing management committed to making the 737 MAX the safest aircraft ever to fly, along with complete transparency regarding any subsequent safety or operating issues related to the MAX. This week’s development may likely be evidence of that commitment.

That stated, more headlines related to this particular aircraft’s systems are not going to help with building up the reputation of this aircraft.


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