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

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.


Saudi online grocery shoppers to get helping hand from Carrefour robots

Updated 55 min 26 sec ago

Saudi online grocery shoppers to get helping hand from Carrefour robots

  • Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim has struck a deal with Takeoff, a US-based technology company that will automate online grocery purchases in the two countries
  • The Takeoff technology can process 2,000 orders per day from a space of 1,500 sq m

LONDON: Carrefour is set to use robots to pack online grocery orders in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim has struck a deal with Takeoff, a US-based technology company that will automate online grocery purchases in the two countries. Under the partnership, several micro-fulfilment centers will be built by next year.

Located at select Carrefour stores, these mini warehouses will process Carrefour’s online orders to replace the manual picking method currently used.

Customers will be able to place orders through Carrefour online with Takeoff’s automated technology ensuring that robots within the MFCs fulfil the order in less than 5 minutes for pick-up or delivery, Majid Al Futtaim said.

“Once in place, Majid Al Futtaim will be the first grocery retailer to use this technology in the Middle East as we look to scale up our e-grocery business," said Hani Weiss, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim — Retail.

Fierce competition among grocery retailers worldwide is encouraging the use of automation and technology to monitor and anticipate customer shopping habits.

The Takeoff technology can process 2,000 orders per day from a space of 1,500 sq m. The idea is that these mini fulfillment centers will be based within Carrefour stores located in communities where customers live and shop.

Carrefour is one of the largest hypermarket and supermarket chains in the world. The brand was launched in the region in 1995 by Majid Al Futtaim, which is the exclusive franchisee to operate Carrefour in over 30 countries across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.