Boeing stock dipped Monday amid reports that the company may pause production of its beleaguered 737 MAX plane.
Shares in the planemaker were down 2.2 percent at $334.05 just before 10 a.m. as Boeing’s board of directors reportedly weighed whether to halt or further reduce production of its fastest-selling airplane.
The board’s meeting in Chicago came after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would not allow 737 MAX flights to resume before the start of next year. The company could announce a decision on a production stoppage as soon as Monday, according to reports.
Temporarily halting production is seen as preferable to another cutback, which would “inflate” costs for Boeing, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company has already estimated that a prior 20 percent production cut would lead to $2.7 billion in additional costs, according to the Seattle Times.
A halt would deliver a blow to Boeing’s global supply chain, as well as the company’s Renton, Washington, factory that makes the 737 MAX, which is already scheduled to close for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, reports said.
A portion of the roughly 12,000 workers there would be moved to other facilities in the area if the assembly lines shut down, but many would likely be furloughed as those plants can’t absorb all of them, the Times reported.
Boeing said it continues to work with the FAA and global regulators to bring the 737 MAX back into service.
“We will continue to assess production decisions based on the timing and conditions of return to service, which will be based on regulatory approvals and may vary by jurisdiction,” the company said in a statement.
The 737 MAX was grounded in March after the plane was involved in two crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed 346 people.
Boeing still has to hit almost a dozen milestones before the plane can start flying again, including a public comment period on flight training requirements and a certification flight, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said last week. Approval for the jet likely will not come until at least February.