Boeing said Tuesday that it doesn’t expect federal regulators to approve its changes to the grounded 737 Max until this summer, several months longer than the company was saying just a few weeks ago.
That timetable — the latest of several delays in the plane’s approval process — will create more headaches for airlines by pushing the Max’s return further into the peak summer travel season or possibly beyond it.
Boeing shares fell nearly 6 percent at one point, to a 52-week low, and closed down 3.4 percent.
The company said regulators will decide when the Max flies again but that it periodically gives airlines and suppliers its best estimate of when that will happen.
“This updated estimate is informed by our experience to date with the certification process,” Boeing said. “It is subject to our ongoing attempts to address known schedule risks and further developments that may arise in connection with the certification process. It also accounts for the rigorous scrutiny that regulatory authorities are rightly applying at every step of their review” of the plane’s flight controls and training requirements.
The latest timetable is based on work remaining to be done before the FAA will allow the Max back in the sky including work on flight-control computers, according to two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity.