Boeing expects the 737 MAX to return to commercial service in January

Boeing expects the 737 MAX to return to commercial service in January
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The Boeing 737 Max jet is expected to resume service for U.S. commercial flights in January, less than a year after a second deadly crash involving the aircraft, the company announced Monday.

Boeing said the planes that have been grounded since March will resume flights in January as Boeing works with regulatory authorities to address safety concerns and questions. 

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Boeing said the company is "working towards final validation of the updated training requirements, which must occur before the MAX returns to commercial service, and which we now expect to begin in January."

Boeing identified five "key milestones" that must be completed before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifts the grounding of the 737 Max. 

It said the first milestone, a simulator evaluation with the FAA to ensure the software system performs its intended function, is complete.

Boeing said it is now working toward the next two requirements, an FAA pilots and crew workload evaluation and an FAA certification flight test.

Two flights involving the 737 Max crashed in separate incidents, but shortly after the planes took off. 

In the first, 189 people were killed when Lion Air Flight 610 crashed after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia. A second fatal crash killed 157 people in March; that incident involved Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. 

The FAA grounded the 737 Max jets in March after the two crashes. 

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines on Friday said they would delay the return of the 737 Max jet until at least March.