Monday, 24 June, 2019

Ethiopian Airlines: We'll be last airline to fly 737 Max after recertification

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 being built for American Airlines makes a turn on the runway as it’s readied for takeoff on a test flight American Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX cancellations to September
Deanna Wagner | 14 June, 2019, 20:31

Boeing has not yet conducted a certification test flight that is required before it can submit the software fix and training upgrade for approval, but has been discussing proposed changes with airlines and the FAA.

On May 16, Boeing finished a software update for the 737 Max that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must approve before the aircraft can resume commercial flights in the USA, but neither Boeing nor the FAA has given a clear, public indication of when the approval process may end.

It's not possible to give an exact date as work progresses on safety fixes to the aircraft, Ali Bahrami, the USA regulator's associate administrator for aviation safety, said on Wednesday in interview at an aviation safety conference in Cologne, Germany.

Knowing when the plane could fly again would help airlines to cope with the disruption caused by the mid-range aircraft 737 Max, the most popular model of Boeing.

The airline had previously canceled all 737 MAX flights through August 19 as it awaited recertification of the aircraft in the wake of the crashes.

When asked if he believed the 737 Max would resume flight before the end of the year, Muilenburg said, "I do, but again, I can't give you the specific timeline on it".

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On the other hand the American airline American Arlines announced on Tuesday that it canceled as a precaution all its flights with the Boeing 737 MAX until September 3, making it clear that the ban would not be lifted soon.

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline's facilities in Calgary on May 7.

FAA spokesman Greg Martin said the agency has "no timetable" for allowing the 737 Max to resume flying and will act "only when it is safe to return to service". Together, both tragedies left 346 dead.

The FAA isn't the only regulator that holds sway over returning the Max to the skies.

The company promises to closely work with customers impacted by the decision.