How Boeing 737 Max’s delay will affect UAE airlines

 

How Boeing 737 Max’s delay will affect UAE airlines
Boeing says that the FAA 'identified an additional requirement' for software changes that the aircraft manufacturer has been working on for eight months.

Dubai - New setback means that some of carriers operating in Gulf will continue to face challenges.

by

Issac John

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Published: Fri 28 Jun 2019, 9:29 PM

The return to flying by Boeing's 737 Max jet will be delayed further with the US aviation regulator uncovering a possible new flaw in the jinxed aircraft that had been banned from flying after two fatal crashes.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it had identified the "potential risk" during simulator tests, but did not reveal details.
The new setback means that some of the carriers operating in the Gulf sector will continue to face challenges in swinging back to normal operation.
In the UAE, only flydubai had been operating Boeing's top-selling narrow-body aircraft until it grounded all of them - 11 Boeing 737 Max 8 and two Boeing Max 9 - in March resulting in the cancellation of several flights. The budget carrier has on order 251 Max planes.
"On the most recent issue, the FAA's process is designed to discover and highlight potential risks. The FAA recently found a potential risk that Boeing must mitigate," the FAA said in a tweet.
In May, the FAA indicated that approval of Boeing's changes to the 737 Max could come in late June, facilitating test flights by early July.
Boeing shares were down by 2.8 per cent in trading on Thursday. The stock had fallen as far as 6.9 per cent in pre-market trade from Wednesday's close of $374.94 a share but regained some lost ground.
Aviation industry initially expected to have 737 Max back in the air during the summer, but that timetable was pushed back to December even before the latest turn of event when anew software problem has been found in Max that could push the plane's nose down automatically.
Boeing said on Wednesday that the FAA "identified an additional requirement" for software changes that the aircraft manufacturer has been working on for eight months, since shortly after the first crash.
"Boeing agrees with the FAA's decision and request, and is working on the required software to address the FAA's request," Boeing said in a statement.
In both Max crashes, the plane's flight-control software pushed the nose down based on faulty readings from one sensor. Aviation sources said the latest setback is likely to delay the plane's return to service by an extra one to three months.
In a statement, the FAA said it will lift its grounding of the plane only when it deems the jet safe; there is no set timeline. "On the most recent issue, the FAA's process is designed to discover and highlight potential risks. The FAA recently found a potential risk that Boeing must mitigate," the agency said.
The Max began passenger flights in 2017 and is Boeing's best-selling plane, although fewer than 400 have been delivered to airlines.
A Max flown by Indonesia's Lion Air crashed in October, and an Ethiopian Airlines Max crashed in March. In all, 346 people died. Days after the second crash, regulators around the world grounded the plane.
The International Air Transport Association urged state aviation safety regulators to continue to align on technical validation requirements and timelines for the safe re-entry into service of Max aircraft. The announcement came at the conclusion of the second Boeing 737 Max Summit organised by Iata.
"The Boeing 737 Max tragedies weigh heavily on an industry that holds safety as its top priority. We trust the Federal Aviation Administration, in its role as the certifying regulator, to ensure the aircraft's safe return to service. And we respect the duty of regulators around the world to make independent decisions on FAA's recommendations," said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata's CEO.
- issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com



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