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Troubled 737 MAX flying again ‘in next month or so’

Written by on 09/10/2020

Ryanair says it expects the troubled Boeing 737 MAX to return to service in the US within the “next month or so”.

It would pave the way for the company to start receiving its order early next year, one of its senior executives said.

The aircraft has been grounded worldwide since two deadly crashes just a few months apart.

Eddie Wilson, chief executive of Ryanair’s main airlines business, told Ireland’s Newstalk radio it had 200 of the planes on order.

He added: “The first of those (orders) we would hope to arrive in very early 2021.

“The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) finished their test flights last week and it looks like it’s going to go back into service in the US in the next month or so and we’ll take our first deliveries as part of that order.

“EASA, the European agency, (and the FAA) are working very closely.”

More from Boeing

It comes a day after it was reported that Boeing was in talks about supplying the aircraft to Alaska Air.

Both businesses declined to comment, but it’s understood to be part of negotiations between Boeing and several airlines over orders or compensation linked to the plane’s grounding.

The ban in March 2019 came after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed just minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa, killing 157 people.

That followed another involving the 737 MAX in October 2018, when a Lion Air flight crashed off Indonesia, killing 189 people.

Boeing was forced to compensate airlines affected, leading to its first annual loss since 1997 in January, while major work has been ongoing to correct dangerous flight systems and get the plane signed off again as safe.

A damning report from the US House of Representatives’ transportation and infrastructure committee last month said the crashes were “not the result of a singular failure, technical mistake, or mismanaged event”.

“They were the horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA.”

Test flights were allowed to resume in June, but the regulator also demanded further design work.

On Tuesday the FAA issued a draft report on revised training procedures for the aircraft, a major step as it works towards a return to service.

Boeing’s finances were hammered by the crisis, closely followed by a fall in demand for air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 Sky News

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