Embattled planemaker Boeing has told Euronews it is hoping to get authorities’ approval for its revised 737 MAX jets next month.
Regulators banned commercial flights of the firm’s fastest-selling aircraft in March after two fatal accidents.
First, in October 2018, a Lion Air flight from Jakarta crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 189 passengers and crews on board.
Then, March this year, an Ethiopian Airlines flight, en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, came down shortly after take-off.
Plans for the jet’s return to commercial service have been pushed back to early 2020 as Boeing finalises software and training revisions that need regulatory approval.
“So, first of all, this is a human tragedy that plays very heavily on the hearts and minds of everyone at Boeing every day,” Charlie Miller, the company’s vice-president of international corporate communications, told Euronews at the Dubai Air Show.
“The plane will return to service when the Federal Aviation Authority and the other global regulators around the world tell us that it’s safe. So we’re awaiting certification. The changes in the software are ready to go and if all goes well we may gain certification from the FAA in December which would enable us to start to deliver planes and then in January, new training will be approved and that would enable us to train pilots on the changes and start to get the planes into service.
“But the primary issue here is safety and the plane will fly when it’s safe and the authorities tell us it’s ready to go.”
It comes as Kazakhstan flag carrier Air Astana said it had signed a letter of intent to order 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets for its FlyArystan subsidiary.
Air Astana, which operates Airbus and Embraer jets in its main network, said it was confident in Boeing’s ability to resolve problems with the MAX.