Boeing’s Max not likely to return until mid-2020 at the earliest

Jan. 22, 2020
Aerospace giant tells customers and suppliers that it aims to return the Max to service in "roughly the middle of 2020."

CHICAGO – Boeing announced on January 21 that its best estimate for the return of its grounded 737 Max commercial aircraft is roughly the middle of 2020.

“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,” the Chicago-based manufacturer said in a news release. “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.”

On January 22, Air Canada announced that it has removed the Max from its operating schedule until June 30 of this year.

“It will also allow the airline to manage its schedule and fleet most effectively as it awaits decisions by Canadian and international regulators on returning the 737 Max safely into service,” Air Canada wrote in a release regarding its flight schedule involving the Max line. “Customers affected by these changes will be advised of their new itineraries and offered suitable travel options.”

The Canadian carrier continued, “In compliance with a safety notice closing Canadian airspace issued by Transport Canada on March 13, 2019, Air Canada grounded its fleet of 24 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Final decisions on returning the 737 Max to service will be based on Air Canada's safety assessment following the lifting of government safety notices and requisite approvals by the FAA and Transport Canada.”

The 737 Max has been grounded worldwide since March, 2019 following a pair of deadly crashes involving the model in late 2018 and early 2019.

“Returning the Max safely to service is our number one priority, and we are confident that will happen,” Boeing stated. “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.”

About the Author

Jamie Whitney

Jamie Whitney joined the staff of Military & Aerospace Electronics and Intelligent Aerospace. He brings seven years of print newspaper experience to the aerospace and defense electronics industry.

Whitney oversees editorial content for the Intelligent Aerospace Website, as well as produce news and features for Military & Aerospace Electronics, attend industry events, produce Webcasts, oversee print production of Military & Aerospace Electronics, and expand the Intelligent Aerospace and Military & Aerospace Electronics franchises with new and innovative content.

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