Boeing 737 MAX to get cleared for EU flights next week

PARIS (Reuters) – Boeing’s 737 MAX airliner will receive final clearance to resume flying to Europe next week, the EU’s head of air security control said Tuesday.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is one of the last major regulators to approve changes to the MAX and its anti-stall software, accused of two fatalities that grounded the jet in March 2019.

The European agency, which released a draft airworthiness directive in November, made changes largely to the presentation after public consultations, executive director Patrick Ky said at an online press conference.

“We expect to release it next week, which means the MAX will be allowed to fly again,” Ky said. A separate certification of the MAX-200 variant will likely follow in the “next few weeks,” he added, allowing flights to resume before the summer.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Brazilian authorities both cleared the MAX flight in November. Canada is expected to follow suit on Wednesday.

Following the incidents, EASA insisted on carrying out a more extensive and in-depth review than it normally conducts on Boeing jets under the FAA’s primary authority.

Emirati President Tim Clark last week credited the European regulator’s “very hard line” for helping to restore public confidence in the MAX.

Reporting by Laurence Frost; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens