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Boeing 737 MAX Cleared to Fly Again, but Covid-19 Has Sapped Demand

Boeing 737 MAX Cleared to Fly Again, but Covid-19 Has Sapped Demand

The U.S. on Wednesday approved Boeing Co. ’s 737 MAX jets for passenger flights again after dual crashes took 346 lives, issuing a set of long-anticip

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The U.S. on Wednesday approved Boeing Co. ’s 737 MAX jets for passenger flights again after dual crashes took 346 lives, issuing a set of long-anticipated safety directives and notices to airlines globally that will help resolve the plane maker’s biggest pre-pandemic crisis.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s official order to release the MAX, grounded since March 2019, came as the beleaguered Chicago aerospace giant grapples with a host of new problems amid the continuing health crisis.

The FAA’s order for ungrounding allows Boeing to resume delivering the jets to airlines and lets them carry passengers, pending completion of certain mandatory fixes and additional pilot training requirements spelled out in related documents also released by the agency.

But the pandemic has sapped demand for air travel, prompting airlines and aircraft-leasing firms to cancel about 10% of Boeing’s outstanding MAX orders this year. Boeing has said it believes hundreds more of its remaining 4,102 orders could be in jeopardy because of the financial health of some customers.

The FAA, as expected, also set new requirements that FAA specialists—rather than Boeing officials—will need to sign off on the condition of each MAX before the manufacturer hands them over to customers.

This post first appeared on wsj.com

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