An Ireland-based plane lessor sued Boeing Co on Tuesday for breaching a contract for 22 of the USA planemaker's 737 MAX aircraft and sought a compensation of $185 million.
Ed Pierson said he told Boeing management about his concerns regarding production problems with the Boeing 737 MAX months before the two plane crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. The crashes were later traced to a faulty and new autopilot system that pushed the plane's nose down shortly after take-off.
For the plane to resume flying in the United States, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration needs to certify software changes and training plans.
In October Boeing's chief executive Dennis A. Muilenburg said he anticipated the planes to be approved this year.
Boeing had been hoping to receive the go-ahead from the FAA to resume commercial flights in the US for the aircraft type by the end of the year, but officials at the regulatory agency have confirmed the current status of the process is not compatible with a positive outcome by the end of 2019.
There are no layoffs associated with the production cut, a person familiar with the decision said.
United States reaches 'deal in principle' with China on trade
He added: "It may be that the Chinese made a purchase offer, including energy, and Trump said yes to the tariff cut". President Trump has previously mentioned, however, that China would purchase up to $50 billion in agricultural goods.
Breitbart News reported in May that Boeing offered a crucial safety warning light as an "add-on" for the 737 Max fleet.
For now, the suspension is indefinite.
U.S. aviation regulators last week issued the company an unusually sharp rebuke, accusing it of pursuing an "unrealistic" timeline for the MAX's return to service and of making public statements meant to put pressure on federal authorities.
An FAA spokesperson said Monday the agency does not comment on Boeing business decisions.
Shares in Boeing, America's largest manufacturing exporter, closed on Wall Street today at Dollars $327.
The company's board of directors have been holding a two-day meeting in Chicago from Sunday, where the firm is expected to announce its production plans on late Monday, according to sources briefed on the situation. "It is our duty to ensure that every requirement is fulfilled, and every question from our regulators answered", Boeing said in a statement.
In a statement, Boeing said, "Safely returning the 737 MAX to service is our top priority".
The company said that it would focus on delivering 400 jets it has kept in storage.