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Boeing 737 MAX Unlikely To Be Ungrounded At Least Until Mid-Year, Company Says

Boeing 737 MAX Unlikely To Be Ungrounded At Least Until Mid-Year, Company Says

The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) on Tuesday pushed back the expected date of the ungrounding of its troubled 737 MAX aircraft.

What Happened

The company said it doesn't expect the 737 MAX to be back in the air again, at least until mid-2020.

"This updated estimate is informed by our experience to date with the certification process," Boeing said in a statement. "It is subject to our ongoing attempts to address known schedule risks and further developments that may arise in connection with the certification process."

"It also accounts for the rigorous scrutiny that regulatory authorities are rightly applying at every step of their review of the 737 MAX's flight control system and the Joint Operations Evaluation Board process which determines pilot training requirements," the company added.

Earlier in November, Boeing suggested that the 737 MAX could be in the air again in January.

Why It Matters

According to the New York Times, Boeing is likely being more modest with the estimate this time after its customers outraged over it failing to make the previous ones.

The aircraft could be ungrounded ahead of schedule, according to the Times. Nevertheless, the 737 MAX has remained off the year for nearly a year since it was grounded in March following two plane crashes involving the aircraft that killed 346 people.

The delay comes as new security glitches come to light in recent times beyond the MCAS flight control software that was originally under scrutiny.

An internal audit in December found problems in the wiring and the design of the engine panel of the aircraft.

According to an Associated Press report last week, Boeing has discovered another problem in the software that checks whether the monitors that track critical systems on the aircraft are functioning properly.

American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL), United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: UAL), and Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) already announced that they would not include the 737 MAX in their schedule at least until June.

Canada's WestJet Airlines Ltd. (OTC: WJAFF) pushed the 737 MAX exclusion from its schedule to June 24 after Boeing's announcement on Tuesday.

Price Action

Boeing's shares closed 3.33% lower at $313.37 on Tuesday.


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