Boeing's new CEO said Wednesday that production of the 737 Max will resume this spring, months before the company expects federal regulators to certify the grounded plane to fly again.
David Calhoun also said he believes passengers will fly on the Max when federal regulators say it is safe and they see airline pilots getting on the plane.
Calhoun dismissed the idea that Boeing's best-selling jet might never fly again or that the company should change the plane's name.
"I'm all in on it, the company is all in on it, and I believe the FAA is all in on it,” he said, referring to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is reviewing changes that Boeing is making to the Max after two crashes that killed 346 people.
An FAA spokesman said in a statement that the agency is being thorough and deliberate as it checks Boeing's proposed changes to the Max, and the agency has no timetable for finishing that review.
Calhoun, who replaced fired CEO Dennis Muilenburg this month, spoke to reporters on a conference call after meeting with Boeing employees in Seattle.
Calhoun defended the company's culture and denied that it had placed profit above safety.
He did not defend internal Boeing communications in which employees involved in developing the Max ridiculed the plane and regulators and tried to convince airlines not to use flight simulators to train pilots for the Max.
"It is totally appalling,” he said of the messages.
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