Business

737 Max could return to service in Q4: Boeing CEO

NEW YORK : Boeing's 737 Max could be brought back into service gradually by government regulators but is still on track to be cleared to fly again this year, the company's chief executive officer said on Wednesday.

The aircraft was grounded in mid-March following two deadly crashes but could return to the air on a staggered schedule in different countries.

Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg said the company is still working through a number of questions with the US Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators but "all of that work supports our timeline for an early fourth quarter return to service".

"A phased ungrounding is a possibility," he said.

Shares of Boeing rallied after Mr Muilenburg's remarks.

The Max crisis has crimped Boeing's financial performance and dented its reputation. Commercial plane deliveries fell more than 40 per cent through August compared with the year-ago period.

The company is also addressing questions from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, which has expressed concerns about a malfunction of the "angle of attack" sensor, which triggered an anti-stall system linked to the crashes.

"I wouldn't see those as divisive," Mr Muilenburg said.

"I just think those are questions that we need to answer as part of the process." - AFP

BUSINESS & FINANCE