Boeing said Monday that it told suppliers to halt shipments of 737 Max parts for a month starting in January, providing new visibility into how the worldwide grounding of the bestselling plane continues to ripple through the supply chain.
The announcement came just hours after news that Boeing ousted its former CEO Dennis Muilenburg as the company struggles to regain the trust of regulators, airline customers and the flying public in the wake of two fatal crashes in a span of five months that killed 346 people.
Boeing last week said the protracted crisis has forced it to temporarily shut down production of the 737 Max, starting next month. Regulators have repeatedly said they have no firm timeline to allow the planes to fly again.
"We realize this poses challenges for some suppliers and we appreciate their partnership and support during this time," a Boeing spokesperson said in a statement. "We are working with them to manage risk, address hardships, and ensure their ability to support seamless production resumption."
Spirit Aerosystems, the Wichita, Kansas-based company that makes fuselages for the Boeing 737 Max, on Friday announced it would suspend production of parts for the Max starting Jan. 1. Revenue from the 737 program accounts for more than half of Spirit's annual sales, and the manufacturer warned investors that the halt would hurt the company's results.
General Electric, which makes engines for the 737 Max in a joint venture with France's Safran, had said it was working with customers and suppliers "while protecting the company's ability to accelerate production as needed in the future."
The company also makes some engines for Airbus, Boeing's main rival, where demand for fuel-efficient planes had also been on the rise.