Boeing says that its 737 Max jetliner, grounded since last March after a pair of fatal accidents that killed 346 people, will be ready to fly again around the middle of December. It added that it expected additional training materials to be approved about a month after that.
But the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) worries that Boeing is pushing the Max back into service too soon, citing as evidence statements that Boeing has made about the impact of the grounding of the Max. Boeing has hundreds of Max aircraft parked pending re-approval, and it has said it might be forced to close its production line if the plane is not returned to service soon.
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The FAA for its part is reminding the public that the FAA and not Boeing designated representatives will be evaluating the “sufficiency of Boeing’s proposed software updates and pilot training,” according to Reuters Business News.
There is no love lost between Boeing and SWAPA, which represents almost 10,000 pilots. Last month the union sued Boeing, alleging that the grounding of the Max cost pilots at SWAPA alone $115 million in lost wages.