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When the clock strikes midnight on October 1, 2019, a host of new problems land on Boeing’s doorstep.

On that date, key contractual provisions, including the right to cancel a delayed airplane delivery, come into effect for some customers. This will further cloud the commercial dynamics around the 737 Max and the large base of customers, and particularly lessors, who have been buffeted by the jet’s grounding.

Related: The 737 Max’s return risks accidentally breaking the aviation industry

Boeing on Wednesday said its current expectation is that the 737 Max will gain “regulatory approval in the U.S. and other jurisdictions” early in fourth quarter (October) of this year, according to Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg as part of its second quarter earnings report. How long the grounding extends is a massive point of uncertainty, but that timing is set to collide with Boeing’s contractual agreements.

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Jon Ostrower is Editor-in-chief of The Air Current. Prior to launching TAC in June 2018, Ostrower served as Aviation Editor for CNN Worldwide, guiding the network's global coverage of the business and operations of flying. Ostrower joined CNN in 2016 following four and half years at the Wall Street Journal. Based first in Chicago and then in Washington, D.C. he covered Boeing, aviation safety and the business of global aerospace. Before that, Ostrower was editor of the award-winning FlightBlogger for Flightglobal and Flight International Magazine covering the development of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and other new aircraft programs from 2007 to 2012. Ostrower, a Boston native, graduated from The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs with a bachelor's degree in Political Communication. He is based in Seattle.

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