Boeing (BA.N) appears to have accepted it will not be able to certify its MAX 10 aircraft by a year-end deadline, but it remains possible that U.S. lawmakers could give it more time, major customer Ryanair (RYA.I) said.
Asked about the comments by the Irish low-cost carrier, which is currently in talks about a possible large MAX 10 order, Boeing said it remained committed to certifying and delivering the jet.
The U.S. planemaker faces a late December deadline to win approval for the 737 MAX 10, which can hold 230 passengers, otherwise it must meet new cockpit alerting requirements under a 2020 law unless waived by Congress.
The regulatory issues could force the planemaker to cancel the Max 10, Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun said in July.
“I think Boeing accepts that it won’t get certified by year end, but I suspect that Congress will approve an extension to that certification process out into early 2023,” Ryanair Group Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said in an interview.
“It makes no sense to call on a company like Boeing to redesign the cockpit or redesign safety systems… So I would urge Congress not to demand a redesign,” he added.
Ryanair last year walked away from negotiations with Boeing for 200 of the MAX 10, but has remained in contact with the planemaker about a possible order. O’Leary said he was due to meet Boeing on Wednesday.
A Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson said the agency does not “comment on ongoing certification projects. Please ask Boeing about their schedule”.
In a statement, Boeing said it was “working transparently with the FAA to provide the information they need, and are committed to meeting their expectations and those of our customers to certify and deliver the 737-10”.
“Safety remains the driving factor in this effort,” Boeing added.