The Boeing 737 MAX will not fly before mid-2020, the American aircraft manufacturer announced on Tuesday, several months behind its own hopes and the experts’ most optimistic forecasts. “We are in the process of informing our customers and our subcontractors that we currently believe that the lifting of the ban on the 737 MAX will not start until mid-2020“Said the giant of Seattle (west) in a statement, confirming information from AFP.
A little earlier, an aeronautical source had indicated on condition of anonymity that the MAX could not fly before June, even July. According to her, this postponement was not due to a “new problem“, But at the risks attached to the approval procedure by the civil aviation authorities and possible new developments in this crisis, explained Boeing a little later. “It is also because of the rigorous examination that the civil aviation authorities apply, and with good reason, at each stage of the inspection.“Of the plane, said the aircraft manufacturer. The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) said it had not yet set a timetable: “FAA priority is safety“Said the air regulator in a statement.
Temporary suspension of the Boeing share
The first information on the extension of the MAX flight ban dropped the Boeing share by more than 5% and led to its temporary suspension around 19:12 GMT on Wall Street. When the quotation resumed around forty minutes later, the stock was still down, by 4.75% around 8:06 p.m. GMT. This announcement is a real headache for the airlines since they will not be able to count on the MAX during the high season of major summer trips.
Once the flight ban has been lifted, the airlines need at least one to two months to prepare the planes and ensure they operate normally, they warned. American Airlines, United and Southwest had canceled flights on the MAX until early June, and should therefore review this schedule. The Boeing 737 MAX, flagship aircraft, has been grounded since March 13 after two close accidents that killed 346 people. The MCAS anti-stall system has been questioned and Boeing is currently working on changes required by the regulators. Other problems, including one relating to the part verifying the proper functioning of this software at startup, have been detected and the appropriate training for pilots has still not been decided.
Boeing, which had originally hoped to return to service in “a few weeksAfter immobilizing on the ground, had to suspend deliveries and production of the MAX. The bill currently stands at $ 9.2 billion but is expected to climb, say financial analysts, who estimate a shortfall of $ 1 billion a day. The aircraft manufacturer is currently seeking to borrow at least ten billion dollars to meet the explosion in costs, including compensation to airlines and subcontractors and compensation for the families of the victims.