Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

737 MAX Test Flight Reportedly Delayed

By Lou Whiteman – Apr 7, 2020 at 5:03PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Boeing's Puget Sound operations remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boeing's (BA -3.39%) goal to return its troubled 737 MAX to service by mid-year could be in jeopardy after the company has reportedly pushed back its planned test flight for regulators until May at the earliest.

The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after a pair of fatal accidents involving the plane. Boeing has missed multiple self-imposed deadlines to return the plane to service but seemed confident on hitting its latest goal. But the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic appears to have complicated matters, with the AFP News Service reporting late Tuesday that a planned test flight has been delayed until May.

The delay shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as Boeing has suspended operations at its Puget Sound commercial aviation base due to the pandemic. The company initially paused manufacturing in Washington state for two weeks but said Sunday it had extended the suspension indefinitely. The 737 MAX is assembled in Washington, and Boeing has been conducting test flights on its updated software from Seattle-area locations.

The 737 MAX in flight.

Image source: Boeing.

Shares of Boeing, which had been up by as much as 11% early in the day Tuesday, closed down 4.3% after the news broke.

But even when the plane returns to service, it is unclear that demand will be as strong as once anticipated. Airplane leasing giant Avolon last week said it was cancelling orders for 75 737 MAX planes and deferring delivery on an additional 16 airframes, due to financial weakness in the airline sector.

Lou Whiteman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

The Boeing Company Stock Quote
The Boeing Company
BA
$121.08 (-3.39%) $-4.25

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
326%
 
S&P 500 Returns
102%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/02/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.