Airlines are preparing for more flight cancellations as Boeing readies a software fix for its best-selling 737 MAX planes following two fatal crashes of the aircraft that prompted regulators around the world to ground the plane.
Pilots from U.S. carriers on Saturday tested Boeing's software changes to the automatic anti-stall system in Renton, Washington, where Boeing assembles the 737 MAX planes. Representatives from Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines — the U.S. airlines that fly the 737 MAX — also met with Boeing officials about the software changes and additional pilot training.
The U.S. government ordered airlines to suspend flights using the Boeing 737 MAX plane, joining dozens of other countries in taking that step amid concerns about the similarities between the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX and a Lion Air crash in October, which together killed 346 people.
Boeing late Sunday said it invited more than 200 airline pilots and regulators to Renton last Wednesday to "share more details about our plan for supporting the safe return of the 737 MAX to commercial service."
The Federal Aviation Administration expects to get a look at the software early in the week, according to a person familiar with the matter. The agency needs to certify Boeing's changes before it can be added to the aircraft.