On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration began a re-certification of Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which was a key step in allowing the aircraft to return to service after two plane crashes more than a year ago.
The best-selling Boeing 737 Max was founded around the world since March 2019 after accidents – one in Indonesia and the other in Ethiopia – within five months of each other. All 346 people on the flights died in accidents. Since then, Boeing has changed the flight control system, which was implicated in both failures, and made other changes. Additional verification of the aircraft contributed to multiple delays in the recertification process.
Shares of Boeing added to earlier gains after the first Max certification flight took off, and rose more than 10% in Monday afternoon trading, which led to a rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
“The FAA follows the deliberate process and takes the time needed to thoroughly review Boeing’s performance,” the FAA statement said. “We will cancel the grounding order only after we make sure that the aircraft complies with certification standards.”
The first flight departed from Seattle at 10 a.m. PST; other flights were scheduled for three days. “The tests are conducted by test pilots and engineers from the FAA and Boeing,” the FAA said.
Regulatory evaluations of the aircraft will continue for several more weeks, and Boeing expects them to return to commercial operation by the end of autumn. Other steps include an international assessment of minimum pilot training requirements, the FAA said over the weekend.
“It’s important to note that going to this step does not mean that the FAA has completed a conformity assessment or other work related to returning to the service,” the FAA said in a statement to Congress on Sunday. “The FAA has not decided to return to service. We have a number of steps left after certification flights are completed. ”
At the end of last month, Boeing resumed production of aircraft after a break earlier this year.
Although Boeing still has a significant lag, it has registered dozens of cancellations from customers. Boeing executives and airlines said the Covid-19 pandemic will also reduce travel demand over the years, which could further reduce demand for new aircraft.