Boeing Warns of New 737 MAX Delay, Now Sees Mid-Year Return to Service
(Source: Reuters; published Jan. 21, 2020)
By David Shepardson, Tracy Rucinski
WASHINGTON / CHICAGO --- Boeing Co said on Tuesday it does not expect to win approval for the return of the 737 MAX to service until mid-year due to further potential developments in the certification process and regulatory scrutiny on its flight control system.
Boeing said it has informed airlines and suppliers of the new estimate, which is longer than previous forecasts and also takes into account new anticipated pilot training requirements.
Reuters reported last week that regulators had been pushing back the time needed to approve the plane, which was most recently expected to happen in February or March, a year after the jetliner was grounded worldwide.
Based on regulatory approval in the first quarter, the three U.S. airlines that operate the 737 MAX - American Airlines Group Inc, United Airlines Holdings Inc and Southwest Airlines Co - were scheduling MAX flights in early June. They will now likely have to extend the timeline again. They have said it could take at least 30 days to resume flights following U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval because of the time needed to ready the planes and train pilots.
The Chicago-based planemaker has been updating the 737 MAX flight control system and software to address issues believed to have played a role in two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people within five months. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.
Boeing Statement on 737 MAX Return to Service
(Source: Boeing Co.; issued Jan. 21, 2020)
CHICAGO --- As we have emphasized, the FAA and other global regulators will determine when the 737 MAX returns to service. However, in order to help our customers and suppliers plan their operations, we periodically provide them with our best estimate of when regulators will begin to authorize the ungrounding of the 737 MAX.
We are informing our customers and suppliers that we are currently estimating that the ungrounding of the 737 MAX will begin during mid-2020.
This updated estimate is informed by our experience to date with the certification process. It is subject to our ongoing attempts to address known schedule risks and further developments that may arise in connection with the certification process.
It also accounts for the rigorous scrutiny that regulatory authorities are rightly applying at every step of their review of the 737 MAX's flight control system and the Joint Operations Evaluation Board process which determines pilot training requirements.
Returning the MAX safely to service is our number one priority, and we are confident that will happen. We acknowledge and regret the continued difficulties that the grounding of the 737 MAX has presented to our customers, our regulators, our suppliers, and the flying public.
We will provide additional information about our efforts to safely return the 737 MAX to service in connection with our quarterly financial disclosures next week.