By Andrew Tangel
Boeing Co. said it has paused deliveries of its 737 MAX airplane following the grounding of the aircraft by aviation regulators around the world after two fatal crashes within five months.
A spokesman for Boeing said it hadn't made any changes to its 737 production rate of 52 planes a month, but said the company continues "to work through production decisions."
Boeing, the world's No. 1 plane maker by deliveries, will continue to build 737 MAX planes while assessing how capacity constraints could affect the company's production system amid the world-wide restrictions, the spokesman said.
A person familiar with the matter said constraints Boeing faces include places to park the aircraft once they are built at the company's factory in Renton, Wash.
The facility abuts a small airport, but parking is scarce so the planes must be flown to nearby Boeing Field before delivery to customers.
Under the Federal Aviation Administration's grounding order, imposed on Wednesday, Boeing is expected to be able to attain special permits to move the aircraft.
The person familiar with the matter said Boeing is investigating alternatives should space at Boeing Field fill up before the world-wide restrictions are lifted.
The delivery halt follows the fatal crash of a 737 MAX operated by Lion Air in Indonesia in Oct. 29, and another deadly crash in Ethiopia last weekend.
The delivery pause doesn't affect delivery of Boeing's older 737NG models. Boeing's Renton factory churns out 52 737s a month, and the company has planned to increase the rate to 57 this year.
The new MAX model includes a new stall-prevention system that has come under scrutiny since the Lion Air crash. Authorities have said preliminary data in the probe of the Ethiopian Airlines crash suggested potential similarities between the two accidents.
Write to Andrew Tangel at Andrew.Tangel@wsj.com