New York, January 22: Boeing on Tuesday announced that its 737 Max aircraft won’t fly again until at least mid-2020 after it discovered a new flaw in the software on the grounded aircraft. Hoping to resolve the matter at the earliest, Boeing emphasized that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other global regulators will determine when the 737 MAX returns to service. "We're informing our customers/suppliers that we're currently estimating that ungrounding of 737 MAX will begin during mid-2020. This updated estimate is informed by our experience to date with the certification process", Boeing said in a statement.
The troubled 737 Max aircraft were grounded worldwide since March 13, 2019. The decision to ground the aircraft was taken after the deadly crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Air flights that together left 346 people dead. The new announcement means the aircraft won’t fly again until at least mid-2020, a delay from the earlier January 2020 time frame. "Our highest priority is ensuring the 737 MAX is safe and meets all regulatory requirements before it returns to service", Boeing said. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg Resigns Amid 737 MAX Crisis.
Reports inform that MAX troubles have cost Boeing more than USD 9 billion and the bill threatens to keep rising. The company said that returning the MAX safely to service is its 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", the statement read.