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SAN JOSE: Boeing delivered significantly fewer aircraft of the important 737 MAX family in February while a panel of industry experts reviewed the US manufacturer’s production lines, reported dpa news.

According to Boeing figures released on Tuesday, 17 MAX aircraft were delivered to airline customers in February compared to 25 in January, 44 in December, and 45 in November.

The aircraft manufacturer is currently under pressure to improve quality controls following a dramatic incident in January.

A part of the fuselage of a virtually new 737-9 MAX with more than 170 people on board tore out of the plane body at seat row 26 shortly after take-off. No one was seriously injured in the incident involving an Alaska Airlines aircraft - coincidentally, the two seats directly at the opening had remained empty.

Following an investigation, the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that fastening bolts were missing from the so-called door plug. Boeing chief executive officer Dave Calhoun took responsibility for the error.

US aviation authority FAA scrutinised production and demanded a plan for improvements from Boeing.

Citing an internal presentation, the New York Times newspaper reported that Boeing had passed 56 of 89 inspections of individual processes - and that a total of 97 violations had been identified. It remained unclear how serious the problems were. So far, the FAA has only stated that it has found several violations.

Boeing may continue to produce up to 38 MAX aircraft per month, as the FAA has refused to allow a planned expansion of production following the January incident until further notice.

While Boeing did not elaborate on the restriction, commercial aircraft division boss Stan Deal announced new measures in an email to the workforce.

Deal said there would be weekly checks at every station of the 737 production line and that all toolboxes would be inspected.

The 737 series is one of Boeing’s bestsellers. The company is behind schedule in processing orders - and this could cause capacity bottlenecks for airlines.

The production lines of Boeing competitor Airbus are already working at full capacity. - Bernama-DPA