Southwest joins rivals in again delaying Boeing Max jet's return

Clay Curtis
January 17, 2020

Timm Schulze-Melander, of Redburn, said: "Boeing will need to launch a replacement for the 737 Max".

Delays: A 737 Max is developed at the Boeing manufacturing facility in Renton, Washington, US. But the ratio of delegated tasks changed through the years "as the FAA's confidence in the aircraft design and related risk analyses evolved, including Boeing's ability to manage such elements".

Southwest has 34 737 MAX's in its fleet, the most of any airline.

The suspension was another blow for the U.S. manufacturer as it reported the lowest level of new orders and deliveries for more than a decade due to the MAX crisis and the trade spat between the USA and China. However, the US Federal Aviation Administration in December said that it won't allow airline companies to fly the troubled jet and didn't set a timeline for the return of the aircraft to service.

Last week, Boeing said it would recommend requiring all pilots to undergo simulator training before resuming flights, which may also push back the resumption of commercial flights.

Boeing apologised to MAB for the disruption.

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The report also pointed to the heavy workload the FAA handled - between 2013 and 2017, roughly the period of time during which the 737 Max 8 was built, tested and certified for production it said that the FAA issued 1,127 type certificates, 4,173 supplemental type certificates and approved 10,340 new parts for aircraft.

Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said the huge delay had affected many airlines and their plans for deployment.

The decision represents another setback for Boeing, which on Tuesday reported its worst annual net orders in decades, along with its lowest number of plane deliveries in 11 years, as the grounding of the 737 MAX saw it fall far behind main competitor Airbus SE.

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA said last year its Dublin-based leasing subsidiary had reached an agreement with Boeing to postpone delivery of 14 737 MAX planes that were originally due this year and next year. The Dallas-based carrier was flying 34 Max planes when the fleet was grounded and was scheduled to have 75 of the jets by the end of previous year.

Boeing said net orders after cancellations for 2019 totalled just 54 planes.

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