Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Report: Boeing's 737 MAX Will Not Fly Passengers Until September at the Earliest

By Lou Whiteman – Jun 12, 2020 at 1:37PM

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

Even after a planned test flight, there are still other hurdles to clear before the plane is airborne again.

Even if Boeing (BA 1.89%) does complete the 737 MAX recertification flight in June as it hopes, the plane is unlikely to fly passengers until September at the earliest, according to an online post from Friday.

The 737 MAX has been grounded since March 2019 after a pair of fatal accidents, but Boeing, after revamping the control software on the plane and reworking some of the wiring, is expecting to win regulatory approval to get the plane airborne again in the third quarter, which starts in July. That would mark an important milestone for Boeing, which bled through $4.7 billion in the first quarter in part due to 737 MAX-related expenses.

A Boeing 737 Max on a tow.

Image source: Boeing.

After a series of misstarts. Boeing appears to be nearing regulatory approval. But a report from The Air Current, an online publication that tracks Boeing and commercial aviation, said that even if the test flight goes as planned, there are still other milestones that need to be accomplished. For instance, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulators will have to hold a review board to determine final training requirements for those flying the plane and run engineering simulator tests to validate the functionality of new software.

The efforts have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it more difficult for the FAA and international regulators to coordinate approval work.

At launch, the 737 MAX was expected to be a best-seller, but the pandemic has eroded demand for new planes and cut into Boeing's order book. But even if initial demand is tepid, the recertification is a key step in Boeing's effort to cut its cash burn and normalize operations.

Boeing is taking a conservative approach to new plane manufacturing due to the pandemic, with a key supplier saying earlier in the week it has been asked to scale back production of components for the 737 MAX.

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
$129.92 (1.89%) $2.41

*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
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/28/2022.

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.