Boeing has announced that it will temporarily halt production of its grounded 737 MAX airliner in January.
Production of the MAX had continued despite the model being grounded for nine months following two fatal crashes which resulted in the loss of 346 lives.
Boeing had hoped to have the type cleared for a return to flight by the end of this year, but the US regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has said the process will take longer.
Boeing has said that it will not be laying off its workers involved in building the 737 Max, but the temporary halt seems likely to affect the supply chain at some stage.
A Boeing statement said: “Safely returning the 737 Max to service is our top priority.
“We know that the process of approving the 737 Max’s return to service, and of determining appropriate training requirements, must be extraordinarily thorough and robust, to ensure that our regulators, customers, and the flying public have confidence in the 737 Max updates.”
Boeing has placed 400 737 Max airliners in storage while its engineers work to fix the type’s flawed Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which played a key part in the two crashes. It will now: “focus on delivering those to customers”.