Published: Mon, June 17, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Boeing says grounded 737 Max may resume service this year

Boeing says grounded 737 Max may resume service this year

Last week, American Airlines extended its cancellations of flights involving the 737 Max through September 3 and other US airlines including Southwest and United have also canceled flights involving the plan through August.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said Sunday there is still no clear schedule for when the company's 737 Max planes will be cleared to fly again and acknowledged communications about the plane with regulators and the airlines were "unacceptable".

Muilenburg referred to a cockpit warning light created to alert pilots when two sensors on the plane's wings disagreed about the aircraft's angle of attack. The pilots were unable to regain control of the aircraft.

The model has been grounded worldwide for three months, and regulators need to approve Boeing's long-awaited fix to the software before it can return to the skies.

The aviation firm's vice president Randy Tinseth told reporters at the Paris Air Show that "we are very sorry for the loss of lives" in the Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March.

The world's aviation elite are gathering at the Paris Air Show with safety concerns on many minds after the two 737 Max crashes.

"The long-term, multi-decade strategy hasn't changed", Muilenburg said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Paris on the first day of this year's air show.

Pilot Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union that represents American Airlines pilot, the Allied Pilots Association, said it's good Muilenburg was willing to revisit the cockpit alert problem and to acknowledge Boeing mishandled conveying information. It is the newest version of Boeing's best-selling plane, and was a direct response to Airbus' fuel-efficient A320neo.

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With many of its airline customers and suppliers at the air show, Boeing repeatedly insisted it is focusing on getting the Max re-certified and speeding up production of the planes.

Whether or not Boeing moves forward with the new mid-sized plane to serve a niche market falling between narrow- and wide-body aircraft is expected to reshape competition with Airbus, which dominates the top end of the medium-haul sector.

The European plane maker launched the A321XLR jet Monday at the Paris Air Show, saying it will be ready for customers in 2023 and will fly up to 4,700 miles (7,560 kilometers).

The global economic slowdown and trade tensions between the U.S. and other powers are also weighing on the event at Le Bourget airfield.

Chief salesman Christian Scherer wouldn't say how much the plane would cost to develop. It would fill a gap in the Boeing lineup between the smaller 737 and the larger 777 and 787.

The event will also showcase electric planes, pilotless air taxis and other cutting-edge technology.

Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Elias Meseret in Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia, and Catherine Gaschka in Le Bourget contributed.

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