Europe gives Boeing 737 MAX draft approval after near two-year ban


(Reuters) – European regulators gave draft approval to Boeing’s 737 MAX on Tuesday, paving the way for a formal flight clearance in January after an almost two-year ban caused by fatal crashes.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) outlined steps needed to put the grounded jets back into service, including updating software implicated in the crashes that killed a total of 346 people in 2018 and 2019.

It also opened a 28-day comment period, which it said would lead to a formal ungrounding from mid-January, once public and industry feedback has been digested.

How long it takes for flights to resume in Europe depends on pilot training and the amount of time airlines need to upgrade software and carry out other actions mandated by EASA.

Reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Alexander Smith