Boeing says it is poised to build its 737 MAX airliner at its existing 737 facilities in the US state of Washington after reaching a tentative contract extension with a union representing machinists.
The deal comes 10 months ahead of the expiration of the current contract between Boeing and machinists. If approved by the rank-and-file, the new contract would resolve a lawsuit filed by the union after Boeing chose to locate a second production facility for the 787-8 Dreamliner in South Carolina, a move the union claimed was illegal retaliation for contract demands and which sparked fears Boeing would move 737 production.
Boeing says it has received more than 700 commitment for the 737 MAX, which is scheduled to begin delivery in 2017. The single aisle jetliner is designed for improved fuel efficiency and tabbed to compete with the Airbus A320neo in what Boeing estimates as a $2 billion market over the next two decades.