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Boeing could restart 737 Max deliveries next month

Boeing said today that delivery of its controversial 737 Max planes could resume as early as next month with commercial flights beginning in January.

Grounded Boeing planes at the companies Seattle headquarters. (Photo: Lindsey Wasson/Reuters)

The plane model had been grounded since March following two fatal crashes in October, 2018 and March, 2019 killing 346 people.

In a statement today, the aerospace company said safety remains its priority with the return of the MAX to service. “We are working closely with the (Federal Aviation Administration) FAA and other regulatory authorities as we work towards certification and safe return to commercial service, and we are taking the time to answer all of their questions. With the rigorous scrutiny being applied, we are confident the MAX will be one of the safest airplanes ever to fly.”

Site of the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March, 2019. (Photo: independent.co.uk)

The embattled company came under fire from US lawmakers last week who accused it of making “flying coffins” during a Senate hearing. In response, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg conceded that “mistakes were made” while days later saying he had considered resignation but would continue to serve once the company board allows him. https://caribbeanbusinessreport.com/boeing-boss-to-forgo-bonus-will-not-step-down/

Boeing said it is now working towards the FAA’s line pilots’ evaluation and certification flight test as part of ongoing efforts to get the planes approved for service.

Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg (Photo: Financial Times)

“While the FAA and other regulatory authorities will determine the timing of certification and return to commercial service, Boeing continues to target FAA certification of the MAX flight control software updates during this quarter,” the statement said.

A malfunctioning automated control system had been identified as the reason for the crashes.  The system is thought to have failed after being triggered by a single sensor reading which sent wrong data to the plane; prompting their noses to turn down in an attempt to correct what appeared to be irregular upward drifts.

Southwest extended its cancellation of Boeing 737 Max flights until March, 2020.

Another blow was delivered to the plane maker last week as Southwest Airlines and American Airlines both extended cancellation of flights using that particular model until March, 2020.

Despite being grounded, Boeing continued to make the 737 Max planes to fulfil previous orders. However, the company cut production from 52 to 42 planes monthly.

Boeing stock rose almost five per cent in response to the company’s announcement.