UAE believes Boeing 737 Max unlikely to return to skies before 2020

The director general of the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority said he expects the aircraft to be operational again by Q1 2020
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FlyDubai is one of the largest customers of 737 Max
FlyDubai is one of the largest customers of 737 Max

The Boeing 737 Max is unlikely to be back in service before next year, the United Arab Emirates’ aviation regulator said, contradicting the manufacturer’s timeline for its return.

Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of the General Civil Aviation Authority, said he expects the plane to be back in the first quarter of next year. Boeing had set a fourth-quarter target.

The UAE., whose FlyDubai is one of the largest customers of 737 Max, won’t rely solely on the US Federal Aviation Administration’s assessment of the jet’s airworthiness and will conduct its own checks before the plane can use its airspace and airports again, Al Suwaidi said in Dubai on Sunday.

“We won’t fly the Max until we are 100 percent sure,” he said.

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