The recertification process of Boeing MAX aircraft is expected to take longer than expected and may get postponed to 2020, a senior government official told CNBC-TV18.
"There has been no communication from US aviation regulator FAA with regards to the date for recertification of MAX. This indicates more delay for the plane to fly again. There is no word on any update in the matter so far," the senior government official said.
Last month, SpiceJet and Boeing had said, in separate instances, that the pace of communication on the matter of MAX recertification had increased.
"We met the Boeing team in Dubai a few days back. They expect that the Max aircraft will be certified by the end of the year or beginning of next year," SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh had told CNBC-TV18 on Nov 20.
Boeing's fastest-selling model, the MAX aircraft, was grounded worldwide in March following safety concerns after a second fatal crash involving this aircraft. While the first tragic crash was of a Lion Air flight in late October 2018, the second one was that of Ethiopian Airlines in March this year.
SpiceJet has a total order-book of 205 planes, out of which 155 are firm orders and 50 are options. The 12 MAX aircraft of SpiceJet, which have already been inducted, are grounded since March.
The delay in recertification process for MAX seems to have had an impact on new orders placed by various airlines across the world. Recently, several airlines of the US opted for Airbus long-range single-aisle planes. The latest carrier is United Airlines which placed an order for 50 long-range Airbus jets. JetBlue and American Airlines have also agreed to order some of the long-range single-aisle planes of Airbus.
In India, Boeing also lost out to Airbus for a 300-plane order by IndiGo but it has high expectations from its next single-aisle product of MAX 10.