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The Boeing 737 MAX will not fly again until 2021 due to legal delays and final FAA approvals

Blamed for two crashes that killed 346 people, the grounded 737 MAX is likely to return to commercial service only next year, the government and industry said.

Although a public comment period on software and hardware changes will not close until November, pilot training, maintenance checks, and final FAA approvals are not expected to be completed until December, officials said. Wall Street Journal.

It remains possible that the aircraft type could be put back into service earlier, the same officials told the Journal. However, an earlier return is not what observers who monitor the process closely expect.

At least one airline will start operating the aircraft on schedule no earlier than mid-December, a person with timing knowledge told the Journal.

Blamed for two crashes that killed 346 people, the grounded 737 MAX is likely to return to commercial service only next year, government and industry officials say. Employees of Boeing's Renton, Washington, factory are shown working on a MAX jet

Blamed for two crashes that killed 346 people, the grounded 737 MAX is likely to return to commercial service only next year, government and industry officials say. Employees of Boeing’s Renton, Washington, factory are shown working on a MAX jet

The aircraft has been grounded by airlines around the world following the fatal crashes of MAX aircraft in Indonesia in 2018 and Ethiopia the following year. Shown are grounded MAX planes at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington last month

The aircraft has been grounded by airlines around the world following the fatal crashes of MAX aircraft in Indonesia in 2018 and Ethiopia the following year. Shown are grounded MAX planes at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington last month

The aircraft has been grounded by airlines around the world following the fatal crashes of MAX aircraft in Indonesia in 2018 and Ethiopia the following year. Shown are grounded MAX planes at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington last month

Problems with ground simulator training for a select group of international pilots can also cause further delays.

Investigators who investigated the cause of the deadly crashes of nearly two years ago focused on a new flight control system that pushed the nose of both planes down based on erroneous sensor measurements.

Boeing has been working on repairing the system and making other changes shortly after the first crash in Indonesia in October 2018. The aircraft type was grounded after a second MAX aircraft crashed after taking off from Ethiopia in May 2019.

Chicago-based Boeing struggled before the coronavirus pandemic hit due to the grounding of the MAX – once the best-selling aircraft.

The coronavirus exacerbated the company’s problems by causing a deep slump in air traffic, leaving airlines around the world behind too many planes, which they no longer needed.

Boeing was forced to ground the MAX after the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia occurred less than six months apart.

The first disaster occurred on October 29, 2018, when a MAX flying as Lion Air flight JT 610 fell into the Java Sea 15 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta.

All 189 on board the plane died, including 180 Indonesians, an Italian and an Indian.

The second crash occurred on March 10, 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302, which was also a MAX jet, departed from Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital and crashed.

Boeing was forced to ground the MAX after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia occurred less than six months apart. Pictured are remnants of the first of October 29, 2018, when a MAX flying as Lion Air flight JT 610 fell into the Java Sea 15 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta

Boeing was forced to ground the MAX after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia occurred less than six months apart. Pictured are remnants of the first of October 29, 2018, when a MAX flying as Lion Air flight JT 610 fell into the Java Sea 15 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta

Boeing was forced to ground the MAX after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia occurred less than six months apart. Depicted are remains of the first of October 29, 2018, when a MAX flying as Lion Air flight JT 610 fell into the Java Sea 15 minutes after take-off from Jakarta

The second crash occurred on March 10, 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302, which was also a MAX jet, departed from Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital and crashed. Depicted are remains at the site of the crash of the doomed flight

The second crash occurred on March 10, 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302, which was also a MAX jet, departed from Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital and crashed. Depicted are remains at the site of the crash of the doomed flight

The second crash occurred on March 10, 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302, which was also a MAX jet, departed from Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital and crashed. Depicted are remains at the site of the crash of the doomed flight

US airlines American, United and Southwest had to cancel flights for the holidays, including Christmas and the New Year, after the plane grounded all over the world.

Boeing reported on July 14 that customers grounded orders for 60 of the 737 MAX jets in June. The aircraft manufacturer removed 123 more aircraft from its arrears, doubting that the deals would be completed.

The drop in aircraft sales extends across the Atlantic. European competitor Airbus did not report new orders in June.

American Airlines requires Boeing to help it find funding for 17 MAX jets that the airline expected to receive at least a year ago. Last month, Norwegian Air Shuttle announced that it plans to cancel the remaining order for 92 of the aircraft, as it had not settled with Boeing due to compensation for the grounding of its current MAX jets.

American Airlines requires Boeing to help it find funding for 17 MAX jets that the airline expected to receive at least a year ago. Several of the carrier's 737 MAX jets are depicted on the ground at Tulsa International Airport

American Airlines requires Boeing to help it find funding for 17 MAX jets that the airline expected to receive at least a year ago. Several of the carrier's 737 MAX jets are depicted on the ground at Tulsa International Airport

American Airlines requires Boeing to help it find funding for 17 MAX jets that the airline expected to receive at least a year ago. Several of the carrier’s 737 MAX jets are depicted on the ground at Tulsa International Airport

Boeing’s only sale last month was a cargo plane ordered by FedEx. That compared to nine orders a year ago and 158 in June 2018.

So far, Boeing has won 59 new orders this year. However, that figure is overshadowed by 382 cancellations – most of them giving up orders for the MAX – and the cut in 323 other orders due to uncertainty about pending deals.

The company’s backlog of unfilled passenger aircraft orders fell to 4,552, including 3,595 for 737s, a figure that includes both the MAX and an older version of the aircraft, the NG.

Boeing Co. delivered 10 aircraft in June, compared to 37 a year earlier.

Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith said the defense of Boeing and other companies will “continue to provide some stability as we navigate the pandemic and rebuild stronger on the other.”

Airbus was left out for new orders, but European aircraft manufacturer said it delivered 36 passenger jets in June, including 31 of its A320neo jets, which compete with the MAX. Airbus said it ended June with a delay of 7,584 aircraft.

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