Anti-ice fix comes with new schedules for 737 Max 7 and 10

Boeing has picked a fix for its 737 Max anti-ice system, pushing the arrival of its last two derivatives — Max 7 & 10 — deep into 2025 at the earliest.

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Boeing has selected a design to modify the internal structure of the 737 Max engine inlet that’s at risk of severe structural damage in rare instances due to overheating caused by the jet’s anti-icing system, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.

The design decision also accompanies new internal schedules for certification of the 737 Max 7 and Max 10, which slide deep into 2025 at the earliest. Both jets are a crucial part of the company’s recovery, which is still unfolding as it overhauls its factory processes and staff training to satisfy both itself and the Federal Aviation Administration that it is ready to begin building 737s again at a commercially viable rate to meet its customers’ expectations for quality and schedule.

Related: 737 Max anti-ice system fix is slow going

Later this week, Boeing is expected to submit a report to the FAA marking 90 days since the U.S. aviation regulator demanded a comprehensive plan to restore stable operations at Boeing’s 737 Max final assembly line in Renton, Washington following the Jan. 5 loss of a plug exit at 14,800 feet aboard a Alaska Airlines Max 9 flight carrying 177 passengers and crew. Boeing has been updating the FAA every 30 days on its initiatives which have ranged from shifting executive and employee compensation structures to advanced talks to reacquire supplier Spirit AeroSystems.

The report to the FAA is a key step for Boeing as it rebuilds both external and internal confidence in its own abilities. It also comes on the eve of the International Air Transport Association’s Annual General Meeting, where the world’s airline CEOs and leadership teams will gather in Dubai starting June 2.

Related: U.S. airlines, fed up, forced change in the Boeing C-suite

Boeing’s progress on these essential near-term items are top of mind for its customers waiting for aircraft. The new plans are expected to be part of Dubai meetings that will also mark the debut of its newly installed commercial airplanes unit CEO Stephanie Pope, who has been getting up to speed on the business since her appointment in March when her predecessor (and longtime mentor) Stan Deal was forced to abruptly retire. Deal, according to two senior industry executives, remains involved in the transition.

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