Boeing temporarily halts flights for 737 MAX after technical issue

The test flights of Boeing’s new 737 MAX planes have been temporarily halted due to a technical glitch in the engine, the aircraft giant has confirmed.

The decision was taken just a few days before the company was due to deliver its first batch of the new 737 MAX planes to an airline. It also marked a delay in a program that the company had said was ahead of schedule.

The aircraft engine, known as the LEAP-1B, is question has been designed and developed by General Electric Co. in partnership with Safran SA of France.

A spokesperson for Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, which was due to get the first 737 MAX, said, “This will, however, not delay the launch of our upcoming trans-Atlantic routes from the United States to Edinburgh.”

The flaw in the engine poses no safety concerns for passengers as no airlines are yet flying the 737 MAX but it could cause a costly disruption in case the issue persists.

In afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Boeing shares slipped 1.3 per cent to close at $183.15 and GE shares lost 0.9 per cent to close at $28.67.