Boeing has issued its latest periodic update regarding the 737 MAX’s return to service, and says it doesn’t expect the aircraft back in service until mid-2020. Although it acknowledges that regulators will decide when the aircraft flies again, the manufacturer is attempting to keep its airline customers updated. Trading of Boeing’s stock plunged more than 6% following the announcement.
Back in March, United States President Donald Trump ordered that the Boeing 737 MAX be grounded following a second fatal crash of the type. This followed a number of other airlines and regulators grounding the aircraft prior to Trump’s announcement.
Since then, the aircraft’s re-entry to service has been continually pushed back. Earlier in January, airlines began pushing their estimated return to service back to June.
What is Boeing saying?
A statement issued by the American aircraft manufacturer today said that the 737 MAX is currently expected to return to the skies in mid-2020. The company said,
“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.”
Toward the tail end of 2019, Boeing had said that it was hoping to resume deliveries shortly. However, this deadline of recertification by the end of 2019 was clearly not met. In fact, the opposite came true. Due to a reduction of space for new aircraft, Boeing has been forced to suspend deliveries of the 737 MAX.
The manufacturer added that the process “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…”
Will there be a further delay?
It is entirely possible that the 737 MAX’s return to service will be delayed beyond mid-2020. This is something that Boeing has acknowledged by saying the date is currently estimating, as opposed to anything firm.
Next week Boeing is set to release its quarterly financial disclosures. The manufacturer has told that as part of this, it will go into further details regarding how it intends to ensure that the Boeing 737 MAX is safely returned to service.
Boeing is confident that the 737 MAX will one day return to service, and that it is a question of when, rather than if. Finally, the American giant mentioned how it “regrets the difficulties” that have been caused to “customers, our regulators, our suppliers, and the flying public”.
Do you think the Boeing 737 MAX will return to service in mid-2020? Would you fly onboard the aircraft again if it is deemed safe by international regulators? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!