Boeing 737 MAX may not return to service until August: IATA head

IATA plans to organize a summit with airline industry stakeholders to discuss what is needed for the Boeing 737 MAX to return to service. (Reuters)
Updated 29 May 2019
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Boeing 737 MAX may not return to service until August: IATA head

  • The 737 MAX was grounded globally in March after a crash in Ethiopia, the model’s second deadly crash in five months
  • Airline members want regulators to cooperate closely on the decision for the plane’s re-entry to service

SEOUL: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects it could take until August before the Boeing 737 MAX returns to service, the airline group’s head said on Wednesday, adding that the final say on the timing rested with regulators.
The 737 MAX was grounded globally in March after a crash in Ethiopia killed all 157 people on board, the model’s second deadly crash in five months.
“We do not expect something before 10 to 12 weeks in re-entry into service,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac told reporters in Seoul. “But it is not our hands. That is in the hands of regulators.”
IATA plans to organize a summit with airlines, regulators and the manufacturer in 5 to 7 weeks to discuss what is needed for the 737 MAX to return to service, he said.
At an IATA meeting in Montreal last week, airline members said they wanted regulators to cooperate closely on the decision for the plane’s re-entry to service, de Juniac said.
“We hope that they will align their timeframe,” he said of regulators.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects to approve the jet’s return to service as soon as late June, representatives of the US air regulator informed members of the United Nations’ aviation agency in a private briefing last week, sources told Reuters.
US operators United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and American Airlines have removed the planes from their flight schedules until early to mid-August.


Huawei in public test as it unveils sanction-hit phone

Updated 43 min 1 sec ago

Huawei in public test as it unveils sanction-hit phone

  • Hit by US sanctions, Huawei's Mate 30 will not be allowed to use Google’s Play Store
  • Household-name services like WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Maps will be unavailable.
BERLIN: Chinese tech giant Huawei launches its latest high-end smartphone in Munich on Thursday, the first that could be void of popular Google apps because of US sanctions.
Observers are asking whether a phone without the Silicon Valley software that users have come to depend on can succeed, or whether Huawei will have found a way for buyers to install popular apps despite the constraints.
The company has maintained a veil of secrecy over its plans, set to be dropped at a 1200 GMT press conference revealing the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro models.
Huawei, targeted directly by the United States as part of a broader trade conflict with Beijing, was added to a “blacklist” in Washington in May.
Since then, it has been illegal for American firms to do business with the Chinese firm, suspected of espionage by President Donald Trump and his administration.
As a result, the new Mate will run on a freely available version of Android, the world’s most-used phone operating system that is owned by the search engine heavyweight.
While Mate 30 owners will experience little difference in the use of the system, the lack of Google’s Play Store — which provides access to hundreds of thousands of third-party apps and games as well as films, books and music — could hobble them.
Household-name services like WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Maps will be unavailable.
The tech press reports that this yawning gap in functionality has left some sellers reluctant to stock the new phones, fearing a wave of rapid-fire returns from dissatisfied customers.
Huawei president Richard Yu said at Berlin’s IFA electronics fair this month that his engineers found a “very simple” way to install the hottest apps without going via the Play Store.
Huawei could offer its own app store in a preliminary version, setting itself up as a competitor to the dominant Apple and Google offerings, observers speculate.
Over the longer term, the company could build out a similar “ecosystem” of devices, apps and services as the Silicon Valley companies that would bind users more closely to it.
The world’s second-largest smartphone maker after Samsung, Huawei earlier this month presented its proprietary operating system HarmonyOS, a potential replacement for Android.
The Mate 30 will not yet have HarmonyOS installed.
But it could make for a new round in the decades-old “OS wars” between Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s Mac OS, then Android versus Apple’s iOS.
Meanwhile, Eric Xu, current holder of Huawei’s rotating chief executive chair, has urged Europe to foster an alternative to Google and Apple.
That could provide an opening for Huawei to build up Europe’s market of 500 million well-off consumers as a stronghold against American rivals.
“If Europe had its own ecosystem for smart devices, Huawei would use it... that would resolve the problem of European digital dependency” on the United States, Xu told German business daily Handelsblatt.
He added that his company would be prepared to invest in developing such joint European-Chinese projects.