Boeing has predicted a “mid-2020” return to service for the 737 Max, months later than anticipated.
Trading was halted in Boeing shares following release of the news, with the price having fallen five per cent earlier.
While emphasising safety remains the priority, Boeing said in a statement: “We are informing our customers and suppliers that we are currently estimating that the ungrounding of the 737 Max will begin during mid-2020.
“This updated estimate is informed by our experience to date with the certification process.
“It is subject to our ongoing attempts to address known schedule risks and further developments that may arise in connection with the certification process.”
The plane type has been grounded since March last year following two fatal crashes.
Lion Air flight 610 was lost in Indonesia in October 2018, killing 189 passengers and crew.
The incident was followed by the downing of Ethiopian Airlines flight 301, with the loss of all 157 people aboard, in March 2019.
Following the second incident, global authorities banned commercial operation of the 737 Max.
After initially predicting a speedy return for the plane, Dennis Muilenburg was replaced as chief executive of Boeing as the grounding approached its first…