Boeing (NYSE:BA) is reportedly pushing to complete a recertification flight for its grounded 737 Max before the end of the month, keeping the plane on track to reenter service later this summer.
The 737 Max has been grounded since March 2019 after a pair of fatal crashes, but the aerospace company has made steady progress toward fixing flaws identified as part of the post-crash investigation. Boeing restarted production work on the plane in late May in anticipation of a third quarter recertification but still lacks final Federal Aviation Administration approval to get the plane back in the skies.
Boeing hopes to conduct a test flight with FAA pilots this month to certify that the plane meets safety regulations, Bloomberg reports Wednesday. The date has not yet been finalized and could be moved into July due to COVID-19 restrictions or other issues.
Boeing has also notified airlines about fixes to the jet's wiring and has circulated a draft of revised pilot training procedures, according to the report.
The 737 Max at launch was expected to be one of the top-selling planes of all time, but a lot has happened to the airline industry while the plane has been grounded. Airlines that just months ago were focused on expansion have since grounded planes and cut flights in response to the pandemic, softening demand for new planes.
Still, the recertification of the 737 Max is a key step in Boeing's plan to rehabilitate its commercial aircraft manufacturing business. Boeing burnt through $4.7 billion in the first quarter, in part because of expenses it incurred related to planes it has built but which can't be delivered due to the grounding.