Boeing yesterday stated that it expects the 737 MAX airplane, which was grounded after two crashes killed 346 people, to resume flying in January 2020, delaying its return by one month.
The group said in a statement that 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.
Boeing added that 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.”
It had previously planned for the model to resume flying in December.
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.
Southwest Airlines and American Airlines at the weekend 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.