The widespread grounding of Boeing’s (NYSE: BA) 737 Max planes earlier this year, following two deadly crashes, was one of the worst setbacks the aviation industry has suffered. The company in a recent statement assured the market that the troubled jet would resume operation within a few months. After staying volatile in recent months, Boeing’s stock regained momentum in November.
The positive response the company received at the Dubai Air Show has changed the market’s perception of the ill-fated aircraft to some extent. Boeing bagged around 50 new orders for the 737 Max, indicating that airline companies, especially in the Middle East and Asia, are optimistic about the company’s’ ability to revive the flight.
There are reports that more Asian carriers are planning to place orders for 737 Max. Ever since the last aircraft sopped service early this year, literally there were no takers for 737 Max, and the situation turned in favor of rival planemaker Airbus. Though the new orders came as a surprise to many, it has added steam to the ongoing efforts to make the narrow-body planes airworthy once again.
However, regulators in the US are a bit skeptical about the prospects of the company meeting the timeline, considering the intense review procedure that needs to be completed before giving the green signal. The upgraded flight-automation software – a faulty version of which is believed to have caused the accidents – needs to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration through a fool-proof and methodical process.
While Boeing is busy making the necessary changes to the design of the aircraft, some regulators believe that the ‘early-2020’ timeline set by the company is too optimistic. Earlier, the target date for lifting the curbs on the 737 Max fleet was extended as the company and the authorities didn’t want to take any chance, considering the severity of the accidents.
As many as 346 passengers were killed in the crashes that occurred within a gap of six months, raising serious questions about Boeing’s credibility.