Boeing officials discuss future of 737 MAX

Monday, 27 May, 2019

United Airlines said on Friday it is extending by one month its cancellations of Boeing Co 737 MAX flights, now through August 3, leading to about 40 or 45 daily canceled flights.

ECA President Jon Horne urged Boeing to come clean about its approach to design, suggesting the MCAS appeared to have been tailored to avoid airlines having to pay for expensive pilot retraining.

Caution flags are shown on flight sensors on a Boeing 737 Max 8 airplane being built for Ukraine International Airlines at Boeing's assembly facility in Renton, Wash.

What is especially unsettling is that the problem was suspected after the crash in October - but no one took decisive action until after the tragedy in March. The crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia killed a total of 346 people and investigators say a new automated flight control system on the planes played a role in both.

The ICAO gathering comes as the FAA is meeting with global air regulators in Texas to discuss what steps are needed to return the 737 MAX to service, while the worldwide Air Transport Association (IATA) is hosting MAX airline operators from across the world in Montreal. He said the safety of the previous version of the 737, called the NG, "is not in question" after more than 200 million flight hours in over 20 years. Elwell has said the FAA needed hard evidence of a link between the two accidents, while other countries said they were acting out of caution.

United Airlines and Southwest Airlines Co. met earlier this week in Miami to draw up plans. Once regulators approve the grounded aircraft, "between 100 and 150 hours of preparation before flying" will be required, according to Reuters, which spoke to three USA airlines.

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. "They'll get back on the MAX and fly it again".

Other regulators around the world grounding the plane in March after the second crash without waiting for the FAA to do so was a setback to FAA's prestige.

Numerous airlines have deferred purchases and deliveries.

"The losses also include maintenance fee and leasing cost during the grounding period ... and it has created clear financial impact for the airlines", an industry insider said. In April, Boeing suspended earnings guidance and the share buybacks.

It consists of experts not involved in any aspect of the Boeing 737 MAX certification.

The FAA said it was making sure that the 737 Max was "as safe as possible".

The FAA hopes that this time, other regulators - some of whom are doing their own separate reviews - will approve Boeing's changes at the same time or soon after FAA does.

He said the issue was not about how much the software may "overpower the pilot" or "empower the pilot".

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration says there's no timetable to get Boeing's 737 Max fleet back into US skies - even if it takes a year.