What happened

Shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA) were up more than 6% on Monday on more positive news surrounding its long-troubled 737 MAX. The gains continued a strong performance for Boeing stock so far in November, helping to reverse what had been a miserable 2020 coming into the month.

So what

Boeing has flown through turbulence through much of 2020, hit by a one-two punch of the continued grounding of the 737 MAX and the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on commercial aviation. But investors lately have seen positive developments on both fronts.

A Boeing 737-900 in flight.

Image source: Boeing.

The 737 MAX has been cleared to fly again in the U.S. after 20 months grounded, and should receive international approvals soon. And progress toward a vaccine has raised investor optimism about the airline sector.

There is still a question of whether those airlines will be in any position to buy aircraft post-pandemic. But Boeing got a boost on that front on Monday when Air Lease (NYSE:AL) announced the long-term placement of 13 new Boeing 737 aircraft with Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK).

Now what

With Monday's move, Boeing shares are now up 47% in November, but still off 34% for the year. That's about right based on the year Boeing has had.

The good news is the worst appears to be over for the company. The bad news is that it will take years to undo the damage caused by the 737 MAX grounding and the pandemic. Boeing is slowly making progress, but investors should be warned it is still going to take years before the aerospace giant gets back to its cruising altitude.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.