Will The Boeing 737 MAX Fly Again In 2019?

After two horrific crashes, the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX means that no airlines are allowed to operate passenger flights with the aircraft. Boeing identified and worked on a fix for the aircraft, and the review process continues. However, the timeline for reentry into service continues to get pushed, and it seems it could be towards the end of 2019 before the 737 MAX flies again.

Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing’s 737 MAX grounding will likely continue through the rest of the year. Photo: Boeing

A new flaw

Boeing was initially optimistic that the 737 MAX groundings would end soon. In fact, it is reported that some airlines were told the 737 MAX would fly as soon as July. However, more recently, during aircraft testing, it appears that Boeing also has to fix a new problem, as issues were identified with the runaway stabilizer procedure.

Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing will have to contend with a new flaw before the 737 MAX will return to service. Photo: Boeing

Delayed recertification

CNN reports that Boeing will not be submitting new software for testing until September. From then, the aircraft will have to undergo scrutiny by the FAA. Even after that, it’s likely that several other agencies will want to take a thorough look at the aircraft before it can return to service.

737 MAX
Boeing will not submit an additional software fix until September of 2019. Photo: Boeing

Reentry into service

It seems that, every so often, airlines readjust their flight schedules and extend their cancellations of Boeing 737 MAX flights. Southwest, United, and American Airlines all operate the 737 MAX in the United States. They don’t expect to see the aircraft in the sky until at least September, if not October.

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United’s has extended 737 MAX cancellations into September. Photo: United

Even if the plane is recertified by agencies, there has to be a worldwide lifting of the 737 MAX ban simultaneously for the reentry into service to be successful. Unfortunately for Boeing, that could take a fair bit longer than just getting the FAA on board.

Even when the plane is recertified, airlines will also have to contend with passengers who may be wary of stepping onboard a 737 MAX. Some airlines may choose to suspend additional 737 MAX flights until they can regain public confidence in the plane.

Could there be 737 MAX flights in 2019?

Most definitely the MAX will fly this year, even if just flying routes for storage and repositioning purposes. In addition, the aircraft will also fly for testing purposes.

Boeing 737 MAX
The 737 MAX will likely fly for storage and testing purposes in 2019. Photo: Boeing

When it comes to passengers, on the other hand, this partially depends on the airlines. In an attempt to regain public confidence, there may be non-revenue flights carrying only special guests on the 737 MAX as a display of confidence in the aircraft.

Furthermore, airlines will face a delay between when the aircraft is recertified and when it returns to service. This is because airlines will need time to reposition the 737 MAX and conduct the necessary procedures for returning the grounded aircraft into service.

Overall

Should Boeing submit a fix by September, it will likely take a couple of months for FAA and global regulatory agencies to recertify (or fail to recertify) the plane. From then, it depends on the needs of these agencies to ensure safety and confidence in the 737 MAX. For now, airlines and passengers will play a waiting game until the software fix gets the green light.

When do you think the 737 MAX will fly again? Let us know in the comments!

15 comments
  1. The best Boeing can hope for is a Tubokev 144 solution according to which the 737 MAX can be certified for transport of mail over non populated areas.

  2. Rush and Bad Engineered to tackle Airbus 320 NEO launching, Boeing lost confident on the market before the 2 crashes. 787 will face very soon new issues, and topics that have not been closed by the FAA according ANA, and Norwegian. Boeing should reframe their business model and sack 2/3 of the management. Boeing was a very good and respected Flying Engineered Company driven by Engineer not by politician. Boeing 2.0 for real need to be launch, Business by tradition is dead, let’s Boeing be Boeing, even Airbus Engineer are not happy today. Phase OUT 737 MAX, stop to build them, waste of energy and money, but mostly stop these STUBBURN MANAGER to work there. Reclaim business my safer engineered Airplane like it was made until 2010.
    737 Max Boeing should be renamed, by 737 ICARE or I CARE

    1. When Boeing headquarters moved from Seattle to Chicago, the company became dollar-driven instead of engineering-driven.

      1. Absolutely… Nothing to do with Chicago… Mostly the executive management that we have today.

        787, will be sooner the biggest issues. And 777X or 797 need to reingeneered totally, due to the lack of strategy on the chain supply management and management customer values.

        Boeing shouldn’t launch any aircraft untill next 2 years.

        Read carefu the statement of Business Engineer by Felix Lafleurie.

        http://scanditech.com/index.html#

        Niklas Andersson.

  3. Boeing is getting what it deserved, a shot across the bows about cost cutting, which will cost it dear. Sadly 346 people have died to make this point.
    The 737 MAX should have to be totally recertified as a new variant and every single part of it re cheched for quality and safety.
    The 777X is probably another Boeing product from the bargain basement dept. That needs proper examination.
    Add to that the 787 also a potential candidate.

    Boeing needs to stop relying on its history and concentrate on quality and safety, not $$$$. Removing its Senior Management is necessary for change

  4. And stock value of boeing is still high as nothing happened.
    No changes in management.
    Everything is going as before.
    I dont get it.

    1. This ^^^^ is absolutely astounding, isn’t it? It’s kind of like the huge tax break given to the wealthy that will be a sugar high until it all comes crashing down – it’s just a matter of time. It’s as if everyone is in denial over what is happening and people are holding out hope that it will just blow over, like a bad thunderstorm.
      The Boeing defenders are pointing the finger at everyone and anyone; the media, the pilots, the airlines, the competition – deflecting and denying. It really is something

      Almost delusional.

    2. Boeing stock value is high because there is no option in the market to replace their production capacity. It would take years to build up replacement capacity. So the truth is that Boeing will pay a couple of billion dollars in compensation to the families of the deceased. To the airlines and maybe some fines to regulators. But the airlines will push for the Max to fly because their only option would be to keep using older NG’s or A320’s. Which is much more expensive. And dangerous.

      So a horrible badly design airlines will eventually still be a financial succes because most passengers do not have an idea what the type of airplane is that they are flying in.

  5. Boeing is the darling of Trump (because it is the stock that most affects the DJIA). The administration has (also past, make no mistakes) given incredibly generous military contracts while complaining that Airbus gets government support – what the nerve! They even put a past Boeing employee heading the Pentagon.

    Boeing is paying for claiming to produce a 737 (to avoid retraining of pilots and easier certification) when in fact it is an ill-defined product. The 737-MAX is really much more efficient, airlines loved that, but the old design could not be reproduced completely in the new plane.

    They have not found the real problem of the two crashed, probably a serious software bug hiding in the millions of lines of code (written at $9 an hour). It has shown its ugly face twice, but apparently cannot be reproduced in the simulators. The accident investigations are done very seriously (also by the FAA in the past, now it has been tarnished). The FAA may approve it with sufficient political pressure, but the BPA (Ethiopia asked Germany to do the investigation who declined and then France who accepted) will not approve until they are sure that the bug has been FOUND and then fixed. I think we have months and months to go.

    The market. It shows how much they do not know about where they invest. I looked at BA closely, and found with dismay that it went down marginally and is still up for 2019. A knowledgeable friend said in March “by June it will be flying and the stock will be at 400+”. Many people view the serious problems as “an opportunity to buy cheap”. Millenials were reported to be buying. How could the credibility of the market get any lower?

  6. The 737max issue is a complete joke. Boeing should have put a bit of effort into this UFO before killing 346 people.

  7. I’ll never fly the Max, if only to give a middle finger to Boeing for trying to fix an aerodynamic design issue with a software patch that itself was broken.

  8. The two best Boeing products are long gone the 757 and 767. I fly delta no max jets in their fleet.

  9. I thknk the 737 MAX or 8200 or whatever will definitely be flying again at least in the US. Question is will it crash again? If so can it be pinned on foreingn pilots?

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