Boeing halts test flights of new plane over engine issue
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 12, 2017,
May 12, 2017, 2:56
Separately, Airbus said it was continuing flights with its A320neo, which is powered by the similar LEAP-1A engine and is flying customers.
The engine had achieved U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European EASA certification in May 2016.
All test flights of Boeing's 737 MAX have been put on hold, pending a review of a flaw in an engine component.
Boeing says it has never had problems during test flights. The aircraft is still on schedule for its first deliveries later this month the company said, as its shares slipped on the announcement. On this, Boeing confirmed that the first of the Max 737 planes will be delivered in 2018. Southwest is set to take delivery of its first Max in July, the airline's chief financial officer said in January. "The step is consistent with our priority focus on safety for all who use and fly our products".
"The 737 MAX 9 will allow Primera Air to open up nonstop, long-haul routes from Europe to the USA with unmatched economics", said Andri M. Ingolfsson, President, Primera Air.
Shares of Boeing have fallen 1.3% to $183.12 at 3:48 p.m. today, while General Electric has declined 0.9% to $28.67, and Air Lease is off 1.6% at $34.88. The announcement will ground about 25 Max test jets and production planes at Boeing Field or Renton Municipal Airport.
Rick Kennedy, a spokesman for GE, said about 30 CFM International engines will be inspected at sites in the USA and France.
The 737 MAX 8 is the first of three planned models of Boeing's 737 MAX line.
Boeing states that the Max 9 will become the "backbone" of the airline during its expansion and says the carrier will use the type's auxiliary fuel tanks to "maximise" the aircraft's range and fly routes to the USA east coast.
"Late-stage discoveries occur on many new aircraft and engine programs, and the cost impact historically has tended to be low to immaterial in our experience", said Harry Breach, analyst at wealth management firm Raymond James.
Sales and profits slipped at Boeing previous year, mainly due to lower deliveries of its military aircraft.