Boeing 737 Max Delays Could Keep Jets Grounded Until 2020

Grounded Boeing 737 Max jets
Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are seen parked in an aerial photo at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S. July 1, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo)

Boeing's troubled 737 Max jets may not be recertified or re-launched to take flight until 2020, a new report suggested, citing multiple delays in pilot training as well as failures to provide an improved software for the flight control system.

According to a Wall Street Journal report released over the weekend, while the planes in question were initially scheduled for a September re-launch, many airliners have extended flight schedules until November.

This is not to mention that orders for the Boeing 737 Max have been canceled by several flight providers ever since the jets were grounded in March. Industry analysts believe the grounding will not be lifted this year due to the extended delays.

On Sunday, American Airlines said 737 Max planes will not be included in the flight rotations until around early November, further fueling talks about whether the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will recertify the jets in time or not.

Aside from the chaos in flight schedules due to the grounding of the jets, American Airlines said being unable to fly their Boeing 737 fleet has already cost them $185 million in the second quarter of this year.

While other industry experts think the jets will be back in the air by November, others believe early 2020 is a more reasonable timeframe, considering the lawsuits that the U.S. jet maker is faced with and its inability to release a flight control system software global regulators will approve.

Late last month, the FAA discovered that there is another problem within the jets in question aside from faulty data reading in the control system. At that time, the FAA said Boeing has to resolve the issue first before it is recertified for flying.

Shortly after the FAA's announcement, both Southwest Airlines and United Airlines extended their grounding of the 737 Max jets. The two airliners pushed grounding until September as a result of the new errors detected.

The FAA did not give additional information about the new errors and sources said it is unclear if a software patch can resolve the issue. A certification test flight was scheduled for July 8 but was postponed after news of the new problem emerged.

Public confidence on Boeing has dropped significantly ever since two 737 Max crashes took place in October and March. The tragedies took the lives of 346 people and resulted in lawsuits from the families of victims.

Boeing said it will donate $100 million to the affected families but the plan was met with criticism early on. Many of the families said the American aviation giant didn't seem sincere.

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