Boeing Wants to Resume Production of 737 MAX by May: Report

Aircraft maker Boeing has begun asking suppliers to prepare to ship parts next month.
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Boeing Company  (BA) - Get Report  is getting ready to resume production of its troubled 737 MAX aircraft by May, according to a published report.

The aircraft manufacturer has begun talking with suppliers to have them prepare to start shipping parts in April, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Boeing halted production of the jet in January in the wake of worldwide grounding a year ago which followed two fatal crashes tied to the plane’s control software.

The company has a backlog of 400 of the single-aisle aircraft, the workhorse of many airlines around the world.

The report comes as Boeing is moving to temporarily close all of its production in the Seattle area on Wednesday due to the coronavirus.

As governments around the world have ordered their citizens to stay home to avoid spreading the virus, the global travel industry has collapsed, with airlines threatening layoffs and seeing massive government bailouts.

The 737 MAX has yet to be approved to return to service, though Boeing has been hoping to win approval for the plane to fly again by the middle of this year.

The company's botched efforts to win approval for it to fly again eventually led to the ouster of CEO Dennis Muilenburg in December.

Shares of Boeing rose sharply Tuesday amid a widespread Wall Street rally in anticipation of congressional approval of a $2 trillion package of economic supports for the U.S. economy in the wake of the coronavirus. Boeing itself is seeking $60 billion in supports, according to Reuters.

Shares rose $8.67, or 6.8%, to $136.35 in after-hours trading after gaining 21% during the regular session.