Manufacturer issues advisory statement on grounded fleet

Boeing has issued a statement on the expected return to service of the 737 MAX.

The entire MAX fleet has been grounded since March 2019, following crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia which killed 346 people. Boeing’s flight control MCAS software was found to be a factor in both fatal crashes.

The MAX’s return to service will be determined by the FAA and other global regulators. The manufacturer has issued a statement to its aircraft operators to help them plan for the model’s return to service.

Ungrounding expected mid 2020

The statement read: “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.”

Boeing stated: “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.”

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