Boeing’s CEO, Dave Calhoun, on Wednesday said the company is “getting very close to the finish line” of the worldwide grounding of its 737 Max plane, which hasn’t flown passengers since March 2019 following two deadly crashes.
Boeing in July said it expected regulators to sign off on the plane in the fourth quarter. One of its biggest U.S. customers, American Airlines, has the jet in its schedule for several flights at the end of the year but other customers don’t expect to fly it until next year.
Regulators are at the tail end of their review of the planes, but they have not yet formally signed off. Once that happens, airlines will have to train 737 pilots, a process that is expected to include computer-based training and aircraft simulator sessions.
“The Max has cost us a lot of money and we’ve had to sort of up the ante with respect to liquidity to make up for the fact that we couldn’t ship the world’s most popular airplane,” Calhoun told CNBC in an interview.
The ban has prevented Boeing from shipping the planes, devastating its sales as manufacturers get the bulk of aircrafts’ cost upon delivery.