Boeing plane delays force United Airlines to furlough pilots | Airlines

Boeing is struggling to meet delivery commitments to customers amid the latest crisis gripping its 737 Max single-aisle jetliner, which carriers such as United deploy as the workhorses of their fleets on short-haul routes.

The manufacturer has been seeking to ramp up deliveries since the Max returned to service following a global grounding triggered by two fatal crashes. Those recovery efforts suffered a blow after a door plug blew out on an Alaska Airlines flight in January.

While the plane was able to land safely, an investigation found that the panel hadn’t been properly secured during assembly, leading the Federal Aviation Administration to put a halt on Boeing’s plans to accelerate monthly output until it has a better grip on quality control.

The manufacturer last week announced a sweeping shake-up of senior management as it seeks to respond to the production crisis, with the head of its commercial aircraft division dismissed, and chief executive Dave Calhoun and chairman Larry Kellner set to leave before the end of the year.

In Europe, Ryanair has said that the Max delays will impact its summer schedule and lead to an increase in fares as capacity languishes below envisaged levels. The Irish company has 360 orders for the plane.

United expects to make similar leave requests of its staff throughout the summer and possibly into the autumn, the Associated Press reported, citing a note from the airline to its employees.

United said that the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents cockpit crew, is offering short-term leave and…

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