– 22 January 2020 – Business
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- 737 Max: Boeing does not expect any return to normal before mid-2020
The demand was clear and reflected the mindset of many airlines who chose the 737 Max for their fleet. Last summer, Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, the famous low-cost airline, called on the aircraft manufacturer to fix this “mess” quickly, warning that if things last, orders for 737 Max could be revised downwards or even reduced to zero.
Actually, Michael O’Leary’s gonna have to be a little more patient. On 22 January, Boeing published a statement on its website stating that a return to normal is now not expected before mid-2020. “This updated estimate is based on our experience to date in the certification process,” writes the aircraft manufacturer. In fact, the 737 Max will remain grounded for more than a year, as it has not been allowed to fly since March 2019.
- Read: 737 Max crisis: already in 2009, the crash of a 737 should have caused concern
Detail of an engine powering the Boeing 737 Max // Source: Liam Allport
It is obviously not certain that this deadline will be met. Hazards may very well arise over the next few months and lead the group to revise the date of the aircraft’s operational return. This will depend on the verdict of the federal authorities, embodied by the United States Civil Aviation Administration (FAA), but also on its counterparts abroad, particularly in Europe. Indeed, the European regulator does not intend to rely solely on the FAA’s opinion to issue its own.
The crisis facing Boeing with the 737 Max is certainly one of the worst in the aviation industry. The double crash, which killed 346 people between October 2018 and March 2019, led to the resignation of the then CEO and forced the company to suspend its production lines – it also has a problem parking the fleet currently being produced, as it can no longer access the runways. In addition, Boeing faces the challenge of regaining the confidence of passengers who might flee the 737 Max.
- Read: How the two crashes reveal flaws in civil aviation