Boeing 737 Max likely to be grounded till 2020 as software needs to be fixed: Report

Most airlines operating the Boeing 737 Max aircraft may not resume flying them at least until the first quarter of the next year 2020 as per reports coming in. The company is apparently still working on fixing the glitch in its software and this work may not be over till then. The technology relates to the flight control software. The software proved faulty and let to a couple of air crashes accounting for as many as 346 fatalities.

The latest statement has come from American Airlines Group Inc which has said the aircrafts are off their schedules till November this year. Some of the other airlines operating this airline, Southwest and United, have also published their schedules till the fall where the Boeing 737 Max won’t figure till October 1 and November 3 respectively. This means that the number of flights that will remain cancelled could run into thousands across several important sectors /routes.

In other media reports, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has quoted officials within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as saying that January 2020 is more likely the date by when the Boeing 737 Max may be back in the air. According to this report, there is no timeline established for the resumption of the flights, since there is uncertainty prevailing over finding the remedy for the software glitch. That appeared to be the impression among the pilot union leaders too, the journal reported.

In terms of the timelines, FAA had originally mandated that the software glitches be resolved by April 2019. That did not take place. FAA did some simulator tests in June that threw up a couple of more flaws in the flight control software. This has now put off the entire exercise at the end of Boeing by a few more months. The outlook now is that Boeing fixes the issues and reports to the FAA and then FAA takes its time to clear the aircraft as being fit to fly. The airlines however are saying they will need more time after that to re-induct the Boeing 737 Max.