Boeing has given Mark Jenks, previously director of his future mid-market aircraft, the task to take the lead in the 737 program, Reuters reports, while the 737 MAX remain on the ground since last March around the world as a result of two air disasters. Eric Lindblad, director of the 737 program, is about to retire after about 12 months in this position, announced Kevin McAllister, head of Boeing’s commercial aviation division, in a message to the group’s employees.
The engineer, who has been with Boeing for 34 years and also led the 777X program, last year announced his intention to retire, says Kevin McAllister. Mark Jenks, who heads the mid-market airplane, will replace Eric Lindblad and become the boss of the 737 program and the Renton plant in Washington State. Kevin McAllister points out that the NMA project is not in question. Mark Jenks, who has been with Boeing for 36 years, will be replaced on the NMA program by Mike Sinnett, vice president of product and service development at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The Boeing 737 MAX is not expected to be back in service until January 2020, as regulators tightened their security checks after the grounding of jet aircraft in March following two fatalities.
Aviation experts and analysts say they expect a long delay from the Federal Aviation Administration, which is committed to resolving all safety issues before allowing planes to resume operations, reports the Wall Street Journal. The company has not confirmed an official schedule, but software audits have repeatedly delayed their progress, with a growing number of issues to consider. Boeing is now said to be addressing other potential issues, including emergency recovery procedures for electronic components. Some checks are said to also look at earlier models.
The incident triggered one of the largest investigations in aviation history and clouded the Boeing 737 MAX model that has been used as a standard for decades. The software patch specific to the MCAS automated system would have been completed and awaiting approval. But other concerns have now been raised. Boeing is now investigating other potential issues, including emergency recovery procedures for electronic components, some verifications on the coverage of previous 737 models. American Airlines, with 24 737 MAX aircraft and dozens more on order, schedules its flights without jet until November 2nd.
Among other US carriers MAX, Southwest Airlines Co has removed the plane from its schedule until October 1 and United Airlines Holdings until November 3. Southwest is the largest MAX operator in the world.