Boeing says 737 MAX expected to resume flying in January




  • In Business
  • 2019-11-11 21:22:22Z
  • By AFP
These Southwest Airlines planes, seen on a tarmac in California, were among the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft grounded after two fatal crashes; Boeing now hopes the model will be cleared to fly in January 2020, while some airlines are aiming for March
These Southwest Airlines planes, seen on a tarmac in California, were among the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft grounded after two fatal crashes; Boeing now hopes the model will be cleared to fly in January 2020, while some airlines are aiming for March  

New York (AFP) - Boeing on Monday said it expects the 737 MAX airplane, which was grounded after two crashes killed 346 people, to resume flying in January, delaying its return by one month.

In a statement, the group said it still hopes to receive certification next month from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), allowing it to resume MAX deliveries to airline customers before the end of the year.

"In parallel, we are working towards final validation of the updated training requirements, which must occur before the MAX returns to commercial service, and which we now expect to begin in January," Boeing said.

It had previously planned for the model to resume flying in December.

The new timetable was well received by the market, with Boeing shares increasing 4.7 percent by around 2:30 pm (1930 GMT) on the New York Stock Exchange.

The 737 MAX planes have been grounded globally since mid-March, following the deadly Lion Air crash of October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March this year.

The grounding has dragged on far beyond initial expectations as Boeing had to upgrade systems and faced questions from regulators and politicians over the plane.

Southwest Airlines and American Airlines on Friday pushed back their timeframe again for resuming flights on the 737 MAX until early March.

Southwest, the largest MAX customer at the time of the grounding with 34 of the aircraft, is currently doing without 175 flights per day out of a total of up to 4,000 while the planes are out of commission.

Companies also need to take into account the time needed to train pilots and install modified software on the aircraft before they can re-enter regular service.

Boeing said Monday it has completed the first of five milestones it must meet before returning the MAX to service: a multi-day simulator evaluation with the FAA to "ensure the overall software system performs its intended function."

- Major crisis for Boeing -

The group said it still needs to run a separate, multi-day simulator session with airline pilots to "assess human factors and crew workload under various test conditions," before FAA pilots conduct a certification flight of the final updated software.

Boeing has notably changed the aircraft's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), an anti-stall mechanism that pilots in both fatal crashes had struggled to control as the jets careered downwards.

Boeing will then submit to the FAA all the necessary materials to support software certification.

The final key step before the resumption of commercial flights is an evaluation by a multi-regulatory body to validate training requirements.

After this, Boeing said, a report will be released for a public comment period, followed by final approval of the training.

"At each step of this process Boeing has worked closely with the FAA and other regulators," the group said.

The 737 MAX crisis is one of the most serious in Boeing's 103-year history, and has already cost the company tens of billions of dollars, triggering multiple investigations by US authorities and a cascade of complaints from victims' families.

Driven by a 67 percent drop in commercial aircraft deliveries in the third quarter, Boeing's sales plunged 20.5 percent to $19.98 billion and its profits halved to $1.17 billion.

And while Boeing hopes for a resumption of commercial 737 MAX flights in early 2020, uncertainty still looms.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency had estimated in early November that it did not expect a resumption of MAX flights in Europe before the first quarter of 2020 as it conducts its own test flights, assesses pilot training requirements and coordinates with EU member states.

The FAA, which has come in for widespread criticism for entrusting certification of important systems of the aircraft to Boeing, has promised a thorough review before certification.

Pilot training remains a contentious point, with Europe and Canada requiring training on flight simulators while American pilots will only have to go through faster computer-based training.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Former Boeing employee who warned about 737 problems will testify at hearing
Former Boeing employee who warned about 737 problems will testify at hearing

A former Boeing Co employee who warned of problems with 737 production will testify on Wednesday at a U.S. House hearing on the Federal Aviation Administration review of the grounded 737 MAX. Former Boeing employee Edward Pierson, who had worked as a senior operations manager in the flight test and

Boeing is promising 3 fixes to the faulty autopilot behind the 737 Max crashes to let pilots stop it forcing the plane into an unstoppable nose-dive
Boeing is promising 3 fixes to the faulty autopilot behind the 737 Max crashes to let pilots stop it forcing the plane into an unstoppable nose-dive

The faulty MCAS software, which was designed to push the plane's nose down to stabilize the jet, was a key factor in both 737 Max crashes.

Max Q: SpaceX and Rocket Lab launch rockets and X-Wings take flight
Max Q: SpaceX and Rocket Lab launch rockets and X-Wings take flight

This week saw a ton of activity in the space industry, with multiple launches, key preparations for commercial crew missions, robots and much more. Launch startup Rocket Lab has been successfully delivering payloads to orbit for a while now, but earlier this year they announced they'd be moving to a launch system in which the booster they use to propel their spacecraft to orbit is reusable. Rocket Lab says the test went better than expected, which bodes well from moving to an actual test of properly recovering and refurbishing the thing.

Real X-Wings took flight at Disney's new Star Wars ride grand opening thanks to Boeing
Real X-Wings took flight at Disney's new Star Wars ride grand opening thanks to Boeing

Boeing might be taking the last crucial steps to prepare for its first crewed Starliner capsule spaceflight, but it's also busy turning sci-fi into reality right here on Earth - by helping Disney build X-Wing large-scale starfighters to celebrate the opening of the 'Rise of the Resistance' ride at Disney World in Florida. Earlier this week when the ride opened during an evening ceremony, X-Wings "roughly the size of a family van" flew over the event, as described by The Drive, which first identified earlier spy shots of the vehicles as potentially being based on Boeing's aerial cargo drone. Boeing has since confirmed its involvement, but they aren't providing more info than that the...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business