Boeing crash jet unlikely to return to service until 'at least August'

American Airlines plans to have the 737 MAX flying to Medellin and St. Maarten in the 2nd half of 2019

American Airlines plans to have the 737 MAX flying to Medellin and St. Maarten in the 2nd half of 2019

"But we are not about that", said De Juniac.

The aircraft was grounded globally in March after two crashes within months.

Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 crashed after an erroneous reading from one of the AOA sensors triggered a flight control system (MCAS) which repeatedly pushed the nose of the aircraft down.

But Muilenburg, who also issued a sweeping apology to the families of flight victims during the interview, said he believes in the plane and would have no reservations putting his family aboard.

Tim Clark, president of Emirates, told reporters in Seoul that it could take six months to restore operations as other regulators re-examine the USA delegation practices.

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Speaking in Seoul earlier today, head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Alexandre de Juniac said the decision on when the ban would lift on Boeing's 737 Max plane rested with regulators, but that it was not likely they would let it fly again before late summer.

Boeing in April said the two fatal crashes had cost it at least $1 billion as it abandoned its 2019 financial outlook, halted share buybacks and lowered production.

"This has had the biggest impact on me [more] than anything that has happened", Mr Muilenburg said of the two incidents that occurred during his leadership of the Chicago-based plane manufacturer.

Iata plans a summit meeting between airlines, regulators and Boeing in July to discuss a coordinated timeline to restore the 737 Max to commercial flying, De Juniac said.

He hoped that regulators could "align their timeframe" on when the aircraft would be back in the skies. "We impacted our airline customers, we regret that as well".

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Separately at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in NY on Wednesday, Mr Muilenburg said returning 737 Max to service is the company's primary focus and that Boeing is in process of applying for final software certification.

The IATA is also laying the groundwork for a meeting between regulators, Boeing and operators of the jet "to make an assessment of the situation", de Juniac said.

Compensation could include tweaking plane delivery schedules, or offering additional training or services, as well as cash in some cases, he said.

"But there may be some worldwide authorities that will operate on a different schedule".

The FAA says it has no target but has indicated privately to other regulators that it aims to certify new software by end-June, after which it could take weeks to get planes flying.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects to approve the jet's return to service as soon as late June, representatives of the USA air regulator informed members of the United Nations' aviation agency in a private briefing last week, sources told Reuters.

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