It seems like the ending to the 737 MAX crisis will be as complex as the crisis itself. In the latest setback for Boeing, India is prepared to flight test and certify the grounded 737 themselves, rather than relying on FAA‘s judgment, according to a source close to the matter.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India (DGCA) expects the 737 MAX to fly in India only in 2020 – a timeline far from Boeing’s hopes of un-grounding the jet in “early Q4 of 2019”. The Indian authority would join the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which also announced that it will flight test and certify the MAX, stripping the FAA of delegation to do so – something that was “not very popular with our American colleagues”, according to EASA’s executive director.
As of August 2019, Boeing received 261 orders for the 737 MAX, according to the manufacturer’s order and deliveries data. But i is more than likely that 125 of those orders will not be fulfilled, as those were Jet Airways’ orders, dating back April 2013, March 2014 and June 2018 – the airline has run out of cash in April 2019 and is likely to never take off on a commercial flight ever again. So far, seven 737 MAX’s have been delivered to SpiceJet, the only active user of the aircraft within the country.
On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO and chairman of Boeing, noted that the company is “making good, solid progress” on the 737 MAX return to service. However, at the same time, Muilenburg mentioned that a scenario, in which the aircraft is un-grounded on a country-by-country basis, is not ruled out.
And the latest report that another aviation agency will certify the narrow-body themselves rather trusting the FAA’s decision seems to put a further dent in the preliminary plan for the MAX to return to service worldwide, as it truly appears that the FAA’s word is no longer taken at face value.