- Boeing said that its crisis-hit 737 Max planes should be flying again by July, an executive of Indian budget carrier SpiceJet told Bloomberg.
- Countries around the world began grounding the Max in March after the second of two fatal crashes, which killed around 350 people.
- Boeing announced this month that it had finished an update for the Max’s troubled control software, which has been linked to both crashes.
- But Boeing has not given a clear indication of when its aircraft will be back in service, and the airline industry’s trade body said Wednesday that the plane was unlikely to fly again before August.
Boeing said that its grounded 737 Max aircraft should be back in the skies by July, an executive for India’s budget airline SpiceJet – one of the largest Max buyers – told Bloomberg.
Countries around the world began grounding the MAX aircrafts in March after two fatal crashes involving the aircraft happened within months of each other.
Data from the black boxes from the Ethiopian Airlines crash revealed “clear similarities” between the two accidents, and Boeing admitted it knew about about issues with the plane’s key alert system for a year before taking action.
The US in mid-March issued an order to ban all Max planes from flying “until further notice” after Boeing said it would roll out an updated version of its troubled control software in the coming weeks.
SpiceJet’s Chief Financial Officer Kiran Koteshwar told Bloomberg in an interview published Wednesday that the timeline for getting the Max jets back in the air appears to have been pushed forward.
“The timeline that’s been communicated to us based on their experience is July – end of June basically,” Koteshwar said.
He said Boeing was “pretty confident” that regulators around the world will give the plane the necessary approvals to fly again by July.
According to Bloomberg, SpiceJet is one of the largest purchasers of the Max plane, and has as many as 205 of the planes on order.
Boeing announced that it had finished the update on May 16, and said it was confident that the updates will make the Max “one of the safest aeroplanes ever to fly.”
The head of the International Air Transport Association said Wednesday that he believes the plane is unlikely to return to the skies before August.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg expressed confidence in proposed Max fixes last month and said he’d be one of the first people to fly aboard the Max when it returns to service.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker also said he is committed to bringing the jets back to his fleet once they are recertified by the FAA.
Several airlines, including United Airlines and Ryanair, have grown impatient by promises to fix the Max, and have demanded compensation from Boeing for their losses as a result of the plane’s grounding.
Boeing said it has already lost at least $US1 billion over the controversy, and can’t predict how much the ongoing crisis will affect its future finances.
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