Boeing has taken on 600 employees and new hires to sort out delivery problems at its Renton, Washington plant which it blames on a shortage of engines and fuselages. The company is yet to confirm how many retirees it intends to take on.
The move comes ahead of the plane giant’s release of August order and delivery tallies, July’s figures revealing the lowest level of deliveries for many years. According to union spokeswoman Connie Kelliher, Boeing started hiring retired mechanics and inspectors on a temporary basis after reaching an agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on Aug. 15.
According to analysts, there were approximately semi-finished 737s scattered around the plant last week, appreciably more than were reported by Reuters last month. Boeing has indicated that the problem lies with a shortage of fuselages from Wichita, Kansas-based Spirit AeroSystems Inc and engines from CFM International Inc, and General Electric Co.
Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman said of the situation: “We are working closely with our suppliers Spirit and CFM as they track toward recovery, as well as our customers. Our team has been mitigating supplier delays, and our factory continues to build 52 airplanes per month.”
Reuters has reported that company representatives have indicated that American Airlines Group Inc. has seen slight delays on a small number of 737 MAX deliveries, while No. 4 carrier Southwest Airlines Co sees “minor changes” on future deliveries, but the delays have not disrupted operations.