NEW YORK — Boeing announced Tuesday that it had canceled a contract with the Britain-based supplier of a part for its new 737 MAX airliner, but confirmed the first deliveries of the planes for 2017.
GKN PLC was responsible for supplying parts for the thrust reverser, the device that slows the airplane on landing, but Boeing will “change the design of the 737 MAX thrust reverser inner wall,” spokesman Doug Adler said.
Boeing did not give the reasons for breaking the contract, but suggested that GKN was unable to increase production quickly enough to meet the 737 MAX program demands.
The new design “incorporates technology and updated learnings from other Boeing models,” Adler said, adding that Boeing remains “on track to roll out the first 737 MAX before the end of the year, fly it in early 2016 and deliver it to our customers on time beginning in third quarter of 2017.”
Boeing plans to produce 42 737 MAX jets per month, then hopes to quickly increase production.
The medium range 737 MAX aircraft is equipped with Leap engine, which Boeing says consumes 15% less fuel compared to a conventional 737 airliner, and produces half as much noise.
The plane costs $110 million at list price.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015