The 737 MAX may be nearing the end of its grounding, as Boeing has been accomplishing some of the 5 steps necessary to re-certification and re-entry into service with the FAA.  While international regulators may take longer, let’s assume that production continues through March 2020 at the current rate of 42 per month and at that point, approval is obtained from the various regulatory agencies.  That would mean that 576 aircraft would have been produced from March 2019 through March 2020 that could relatively quickly be retrofit to re-enter service at that time.

With virtually no physical changes to the MAX but extensive software changes, the retrofit of the aircraft that have already been built should be somewhat like upgrading the operating system of your computer, and making certain that every application running on it works perfectly.  This will entail some sophisticated testing and will likely require 10 to 15 working days per aircraft to complete the repairs, provide post-storage maintenance, and obtain FAA certification.

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