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'No timeline' for Boeing 737 Max to return to skies: Transportation secretary

Julia Limitone

In an effort to restore confidence in the troubled 737 Max, Boeing’s new CEO Dave Calhoun vowed to make safety and transparency a priority and reaffirmed his belief in the aircraft during his first press conference since taking over for Dennis Muilenburg.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told FOXBusiness’ Maria Bartiromo during an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that there is “no timeline” for when the planes will fly again.

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Boeing said production on the 737 Max will likely resume within the next few months and could return to the skies by fall. But Chao said “we want to make sure that, that plane is safe,” and added that it’s “our responsibility to the public.”

The airplane has been grounded since March 2019 and under review by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and international aviation authorities while the planemaker developed a patch for anti-stall software linked to two deadly crashes.

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Chao said although collaboration with international regulations is essential, the FAA has the “authority to unground” the planes and has always been the “gold standard for safety.” The FAA is “very fact-based” and the entire agency is committed to certifying the planes, she added.

As for what exactly happened to Boeing, Chao told Bartiromo, “you’ll have to ask” the company.

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FOXBusiness' Jonathan Garber contributed to this report. 

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