U.S. aerospace giant Boeing said it believes its troubled 737 Max jet, which was grounded by the FAA in mid-March, will be ready for takeoff by the end of the year, despite reports that suggest otherwise.
“Our best current estimate continues to be a return to service of the MAX that begins early in the fourth quarter,” Boeing told FOX Business in a statement. “Our focus is on safety and ensuring the trust and confidence of customers, regulators and the flying public. Timing on return to service will be driven by the FAA and global regulators.”
The stock tumbled nearly 3 percent during Tuesday’s session.
On Tuesday, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General De Juniac said he too is “worried” about the discrepancies among global regulators over the approval process to return the jets to flight, Reuters reported.
This after The Wall Street Journal‘s report on Monday that said “friction between Boeing and international air-safety authorities threatens a new delay in bringing the grounded 737 Max fleet back into service, according to government and pilot union officials briefed on the matter.”
As regulators reportedly debate the return process for the jet, at least three U.S. air carriers that fly the Max jet — American Airlines, United and Southwest –have extended flight cancellations because of the aircraft’s grounding.
A delay in its return may threaten future profits. Boeing reported “a $5.6 billion reduction in revenue and pre-tax earnings” in July, as a result of the FAA grounding of the Max jets. And that move by the FAA came about because of two separate plane crashes that involved the aircraft: The Ethiopian Airlines crash in March and the Lion Air crash in October 2018 killed a total of 346 people.