Boeing's (BA 1.37%) long-troubled 737 MAX airplane could be cleared to fly as soon as Nov. 18, according to Reuters.
The MAX has been grounded since March 2019 after a pair of fatal accidents, but Boeing has been working with U.S. and international regulators toward winning approval for changes in the software designed to prevent further accidents.
Steve Dickson, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, late Monday told Reuters that the recertification process "will be finished in the coming days." Reuters, citing sources briefed on the matter, said the FAA plans to approve the plane as soon as Nov. 18.
At least one airline, American Airlines Group (AAL -0.21%), has announced plans to fly the 737 MAX later this year, assuming it is cleared to fly.
Recertification would be a big tailwind for Boeing. The company has bled through more than $15 billion in cash in the first nine months of 2020, and needs to resume deliveries to reverse that trend and refill its cash coffers. The company has more than 400 737 MAX planes on its lots that have been assembled but could not be delivered during the grounding.
But finding homes for all those planes could be difficult. Airlines have scaled back growth plans due to the pandemic, and many buyers have deferred or canceled orders. Aircraft leasing company AerCap Holdings (AER -0.28%) on Tuesday said it canceled orders for 24 MAX aircraft during the third quarter, a fresh reminder of the challenges Boeing faces as it tries to work through its inventory.