Boeing on Monday said it expects the 737 MAX airplane, which was grounded after two crashes killed 346 people, to resume flying in January, delaying its return by one month. In a statement, the group said it still hopes to receive certification next month from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), allowing it to resume MAX deliveries to airline customers before the end of the year.
“In parallel, we are working towards final validation of the updated training requirements, which must occur before the MAX returns to commercial service, and which we now expect to begin in January,” Boeing said.
It had originally planned for the model to resume flying in December. The planes have been grounded globally since mid-March, following the deadly Lion Air crash of October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March this year. The grounding has dragged on far beyond initial expectations as Boeing has upgraded systems and faced questions from regulators and politicians over the plane. Southwest Airlines and American Airlines on Friday pushed back their time frame again for resuming flights.