Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s chief executive, said Wednesday that the company is working with regulators on the “final steps” to allow the 737 MAX to fly again after the veto decreed more than six months ago in response to claims in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
“We are making steady daily progress on these final certification steps,” Muilenburg said in a speech at the Economic Club of New York.
Boeing expects the controversial model to be back in operation in the fourth quarter of this year, once regulators have given the go-ahead for the software upgrades and new pilot training programs it has developed.
On Wednesday, Muilenburg said the company is working very closely with U.S. and many other country authorities to respond to all its requirements and stressed that the trials conducted have been positive.
He explained that Boeing test pilots have already completed more than 700 flights with 737 MAX with updated software and he himself has participated in two of them.
“We are taking steps to ensure that accidents like these will not happen again,” said the executive, who acknowledged that the accidents have led the company to reconsider its entire safety strategy.
Among other measures, Muilenburg explained that an anonymous system has been created to encourage company employees to report possible problems.
According to several press reports, Boeing employees warned their superiors about certain dangers on the 737 MAX that were not taken into account.
This Wednesday, The New York Times reported that an engineer from the company filed a complaint this year claiming that during the development of that model the company rejected to minimize costs a security system that could have reduced the risks that led to the tragedies in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
Despite the problems faced by his company, the head of Boeing highlighted in his presentation the great future that lies ahead of the company and the entire aeronautical sector, especially given the growing global demand.
According to Muilenburg, Boeing’s projections say that the world fleet of aircraft will double in size in the next twenty years, with a large increase in business outside the United States and Europe, the two large traditional hubs.
In that sense, he recalled that less than 20 percent of the world’s population has taken a flight throughout its life, which presents an enormous potential for growth, especially by the growth of the middle class in emerging markets.