June 26, 2019, © Leeham News: Airlines and lessors are making plans to extend leases by up to one year as the Boeing 737 MAX grounding drags on with no end in sight and carriers scramble to cover their routes, LNA is told.
This was until the September-October timeframe.
Now, with estimates that the Federal Aviation Administration may not be ready to lift its grounding order until then—and other regulators may come later—airlines see a need for another lease extension.
Lessors are not interested in another six month extension, however, LNA is told.
This information emerged before news of yet another flaw in the MAX, discovered by FAA inspectors flying a MAX simulator. Though the new flaw is unrelated to the MCAS, the discovery may further delay a return to service. Reuters was the first to report this story.
The one-year lease extensions may further impact how quickly Boeing can return to service the grounded and undelivered airplanes that now number nearly 600 aircraft (almost 400 grounded, about 200 undelivered).
Boeing continues churn out MAXes at the rate of 42/mo. These are going straight to storage at four sites in Washington State plus San Antonio (TX).
There are already some estimates it will take Boeing into 2021 before the undelivered backlog is cleared.