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737 Max 8 could be ready for flying by July, Boeing tells SpiceJet

PW Bureau

Regulators across the globe, however, have plans to scrutinise the aircraft minutely, a process that could take up more time than what Boeing has planned for itself New Delhi: Boeing has told SpiceJet, which is one of its biggest buyers of 737 Max 8 model, that the grounded airplane will be ready to take to the skies once again by end of July. SpiceJet’s Chief Financial Officer Kiran Koteshwar said in an interview, “The timeline that’s been communicated to us based on their experience is July-end or June basically... We are expecting it to be July.” The timeline comes as a surprise as most of the industry experts had predicted a late return for the aircraft following the grounding of the aircraft in March in the wake of two crashes, one in Ethiopia and the other one in Indonesia.

SpiceJet seeks compensation

SpiceJet has also sought compensation from Boeing but it has not received anything as yet, Koteshwar said. The value of the compensation will depend on how long the plane has stayed on the ground, he said.

European, US regulators to scrutinise plane individually

Even as Boeing has sent out a bullish timeline for putting the Max 8 aircraft back in the sky, regulators across the globe have plans to scrutinise the aircraft minutely, a process that could take up more time than what Boeing has planned for itself. European regulators are planning to scrutinise the airplane’s entire flight-control system before a return to the skies can be approved, while US aviation regulators have said that they would not rush the matter. Regulators in Indonesia, on the other hand, have said that they could keep the aircraft parked until next year. China, Canada and the European Union have each hinted that they would like to independently review changes to the Boeing planes before allowing flights to resume. South Korea has also said that they would take a call on the matter after closely monitoring steps taken by regulators in Europe and China.

What does IATA say?

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), on the other hand, expects the aircraft to return to service only by August. Koteshwar added that the final timing would depend on the regulators.