Seoul, Korea - Emirates' boss Tim Clark thinks the Boeing 737 MAX won't be able to return to service before the year-end due to disagreement between the FAA and other civil aviation regulators.
Emirates president believes the 737 MAX's worldwide grounding will last longer than expected. According to Clark, the plane won't return to service in July as Boeing predicts.
“You’re going to have a bit of a delay in terms of regulators, Canada, Europe, China. It’s going to take time to get this aircraft back in the air. If it’s in the air by Christmas I’ll be surprised,” Clark told reporters during the sidelines of the IATA annual meeting in Seoul.
Clark did not provide any detail on the dispute issues.
The long-haul carrier Emirates doesn't have the Boeing 737 MAX in its fleet, but it has partnerships with the country's low-cost operator flydubai. The airline has 12 737 MAX in its fleet, and more than a hundred on order with the American aircraft manufacturer.
The 737 MAXs of Boeing were grounded worldwide after the second fatal crashe of a 737 MAX 8 aircraft in Ethiopia on March 10. The two crashes, which happened at short intervals triggered concerns about the safety of the Boeing's revamped single-aisle.
Boeing, The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, and foreign aviation regulators are working together to get the aircraft back in the service. Boeing is expected to submit the new anti-stall software of the aircraft for the review of a Joint Technical Review Committee that consists of international regulators including the FAA.
In addition to regulatory approval, Boeing is also working changes in pilot-training requirements that may cause further delays, Clark told reporters.
Boeing proposes a computer-based training for the aircraft's controversial anti-stall system called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System), but regulators are in favor of the mandatory simulator training. The problem is there are only a few 737 MAX simulators available globally.