Boeing: 737 MAX return to service flight not before June

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Doubts are accumulating on the date of return to service of the Boeing 737 MAX, nailed to the ground for more than a year: the test flight necessary for the green light from the regulators is not scheduled at least before June, said Thursday at AFP from regulatory sources.

This information casts a veil on the schedule of Boeing, which plans to return to service the MAX for “mid-2020″, that is to say in June.

The civil aviation authorities can only approve the modified version of the aircraft after a flight test. However no test flight of the modified 737 MAX is scheduled before at least June, said one of the sources on condition of anonymity on Thursday. Another goes even further, saying that no date has been set because of the health crisis.

European and Canadian inspectors will find it difficult to travel to the United States to participate in a flight test due to travel restrictions and physical distance, the source said. Contacted by AFP, EASA, the European regulator neither confirmed nor denied this information.

“With regard to the MAX, work is progressing despite the various containment measures. However, the impact of the Covid-19, including the travel restrictions it entailed, means that we do not have a firm schedule for test flights, which are required to validate the return to service, ” said email Janet Northcote, an EASA spokesperson.

The federal aviation agency, the FAA, the main regulator of Boeing, said that “there was no update” as regards the certification date of the plane only for pilot training.

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