Boeing officials discuss future of 737 MAX

Cheryl Sanders
May 24, 2019

Global aviation regulators are gathering in Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday for a summit on the Max as the FAA seeks to regain trust after being accused of dragging its feet in the crisis - it was the last agency to order the jet grounded.

At an earlier briefing, Lu Kang, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said it was "beyond reproach" that airlines would work to "protect their legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the law".

The China Air Transport Association (CATA) on Friday said it estimates losses at Chinese airlines caused by the grounding of Boeing Co's 737 MAX aircraft will reach around 4 billion yuan ($579.32 million) by the end of June.

Elwell said the return of the 737 MAX would be determined by what the FAA found in its analysis of Boeing's submission, adding that it was "pretty confident that the application is in good shape".

And that grounding appears likely to remain in place for the months ahead, given updated flight schedules showed US-based airlines have left the 737 MAX out of their operations through July and August.

The meeting Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas, was crucial to the US agency's hopes of convincing other regulators around the world to lift their bans on the plane soon after the FAA does.

On another front, the United States consumer protection activist and author, Ralph Nader, whose grand niece died in the Ethiopian Airlines March 10 crash, has called for a recall of all 737 MAX jets.

"Once we have addressed the information requests from the FAA, we will be ready to schedule a certification test flight and submit final certification documentation", Boeing communications director Chaz Bickers said on Thursday.

"Boeing essentially built a plane to a wish list that would sell well - meeting attractive fuel, cost and performance metrics, with minimal additional pilot training requirements", Horne said in the ECA statement.

The FAA expects the ungrounding of Boeing's 737 MAX jets in the U.S. to happen as early as late June, but each aircraft will likely need between 100 and 150 hours of work and preparation before taking to the skies again, according to airline officials.

Southwest, American and United provided estimates to Reuters after discussing the process with Boeing in Miami earlier this week.

A file image of the Boeing 737 MAX tail and winglets. Once the update is submitted, it will be reviewed and training will need to be formulated. Each airline will be responsible for developing its own training plan once the FAA lays down guidelines. A Lion Air 737 MAX 8 plunged into the sea.

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 sits outside the hangar during a media tour of the Boeing 737 MAX at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington December 8, 2015. Roughly half said they'd be unlikely to get on board.

Other reports by iNewsToday