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Boeing 737 MAX return delayed until at least mid-2020

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Wednesday 22 Jan 2020

(Sharecast News) - Boeing said it did not expect its controversial 737 Max aircraft to return to service until mid-2020 as it officially paused production while authorities scrutinise modifications.
The new delay comes after the beleaguered manufacturer found a new software problem last month. The jet has been grounded since last March after two crashes killed 346 people.

Federal Aviation Administration chief Stephen Dickson said last month he could not say when approval for the plane to fly again would be given as there were still at least 10 steps in the certification process yet to be completed.

"If you do the math, it's going to extend into 2020," he told CNBC at the time.

Boeing shares fell more than 5% on Tuesday on news of the delay, forcing the New York Stock Exchange to temporarily halt trading until the company released a formal update.

Boeing said its new guidance for "mid-2020" was "informed by our experience to date with the certification process".

"Returning the Max safely to service is our number one priority, and we are confident that will happen."

"We acknowledge and regret the continued difficulties that the grounding of the 737 MAX has presented to our customers, our regulators, our suppliers, and the flying public," Boeing said in a statement.

"We will provide additional information about our efforts to safely return the 737 MAX to service in connection with our quarterly financial disclosures next week."


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