Boeing Co. signaled Dec. 12 that it no longer expects to get the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's approval this month for the grounded 737 MAX jets' return to service, a day after the U.S. regulator maintained that there is no timeline set for the flight certification process for the troubled aircraft, Reuters reported.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg and Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal told FAA Administrator Steve Dickson that the company will support the regulator's requirements and timeline "as we work to safely return the MAX to service in 2020," Reuters reported, citing a company statement.
Dickson said Dec. 11 the certification process for the globally grounded 737 MAX would "extend into 2020" and that there are still 10 or 11 steps that need to be completed before the 737 MAX airplanes can resume flying.
The certification could be postponed until March, according to the Reuters report, which cited unnamed U.S. officials.
Boeing said in November that it was aiming for the fourth quarter to get FAA certification of the software updates for the 737 MAX flight control system and that it was expecting to resume deliveries of the said aircraft to airlines as early as December.
Separately, American Airlines Group Inc. extended its cancellation of flights booked on 737 MAX jets through April 6, 2020. The airlines had previously canceled the flights through March 4, 2020.