Europe to lift Boeing 737 MAX grounding in January, follows US action

European aviation regulator to lift ban on Boeing 737 MAX in January

Europe's aviation safety regulator is preparing to take a major step toward approving the return of Boeing Co.'s 737 Max as soon as next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

On Wednesday, the US Federal Aviation Administration lifted a 20-month-old grounding order imposed after two fatal crashes that triggered cockpit design changes.

The FAA said the plane's airworthiness certificate would allow deliveries and United States commercial flights to resume by the year's end - subject to pilot training being agreed. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has decided that more needs to be done, than what has been determined by the FAA, to make the Max safe and will come out with its own list of to-dos that Boeing must achieve before European airlines can start flying the aircraft again.

The CEO of Boeing's largest European customer, Ryanair, has said that the airline is not now looking to order additional 737 MAX jets from Boeing, but that it expects opportunities to acquire cheap aircraft to appear over time and that it will capitalise on such opportunities at some stage. "It's likely that, in our case, we'll adopt the decisions that will allow us to put it back in service in the course of January". "There are certain processes that we need to do to ensure the aircraft's safety", he said in an online press conference. In the United States, commercial flights are scheduled to start on December 29, just under six weeks after the FAA order was published on Nov 18.

After getting the FAA nod, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Stan Deal had said: "The FAA's directive is an important milestone". Boeing is developing the 777X, a larger version of its 777.

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