Finally, there seems to be some good news for Boeing. The Federal Aviation Administration has said that Boeing's grounded 737 Max could get recertified before mid-year. Boeing has been bleeding since the time its best-selling 737 Max went off service.
Boeing last week had said that the return of 737 Max could get delayed by as much as midyear. However, now that the Federal Aviation Administration has finally said that the aircraft could be recertified before mid-year, it certainly will bring a smile on the Boeing's face.
A ray of hope for Boeing
Federal Aviation Administration's head Steve Dickson told airline companies that the agency could lift the ban from Boeing 737 Max before mid-year. Dickson said that the FAA could recertify 737 Max earlier if it didn't find any new issues with the aircraft.
"While the FAA continues to follow a thorough, deliberate process, the agency is pleased with Boeing's progress in recent weeks toward achieving key milestones," the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. Boeing has been slowly losing hope on 737 Max's early arrival.
The company last week said that the delay in the aircraft's return to service could further get pushed back to June. Boeing 737 Max has been grounded since March 2019 following two fatal accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people.
Crisis yet not over for Boeing
Boeing had been expecting an early return of the troubled 737 Max to service. In November, it had even said that the aircraft could return to service by end 2019. However, the Federal Aviation Administration late last year said that it had not fixed any timeline for the aircraft's return and it won't be well before 2020. Since then, Boeing has been losing hope on the aircraft's return anytime soon.
With no timeline for the jet to return, Boeing late last year said that it will halt production of 737 Max from January. So far, Boeing has estimated costs of more than $9 billion till date owing to the grounding of the aircraft. This includes paying compensation to a number of airline companies, which have been cancelling all their 737 Max flights well until June.
In December, the company also fired its CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who was replaced by David Calhoun earlier this month. It is also now up to Calhoun to a great extent to resurrect the image of the company and repair relationships with the regulators to bring back 737 Max to service at the earliest.