UAE doesn't expect Boeing 737 Max to fly again this year

An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8, on a flight from Miami to New York City, comes in for landing at LaGuardia Airport on Monday morning, March 11, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8, on a flight from Miami to New York City, comes in for landing at LaGuardia Airport on Monday morning, March 11, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Boeing 737 Max is unlikely to be back in service before next year, the United Arab Emirates’ aviation regulator has said, contradicting the manufacturer’s timeline for its return.

Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of the General Civil Aviation Authority, said he expects the plane to be back in the first quarter of next year. Boeing has set a fourth-quarter target.

The U.A.E., whose FlyDubai is one of the largest customers of 737 Max, won’t rely solely on the US Federal Aviation Administration’s assessment of the jet’s airworthiness and will conduct its own checks before the plane can use its airspace and airports again, Al Suwaidi said in Dubai on Sunday.

“We won’t fly the Max until we are 100% sure,” he said.

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