Boeing is attempting to restart 737 MAX production by mid-2020, according to multiple sources cited by CNBC and Al-Jazeera.
The plane was grounded in March 2019 after two separate crashes caused the deaths of 346 passengers.
This comes despite investigational setbacks, including an interim report by Ethiopian authorities released on 9 May, which laid much of the blame at Boeing’s door.
The COVID-19 outbreak has also had significant impacts on the aerospace giant, which has had to pause its operations in Seattle after numerous employees tested positive and one died.
However, one industry source said Boeing has “asked some suppliers to be ready to ship 737 parts in April”.
Another said that production was initially planned to recommence as soon as April, but that this date was pushed back to May amid news of the outbreak.
Boeing is currently seeking $60 billion in US government aid to assist with company finances and cash flow issues in the aerospace supply chain.
“Priority number one is getting customers’ fleets back up,” he added, in an apparent reference to the backlog of 400 undelivered jets.
However, regulatory approvals have not yet been forthcoming. Despite indications from FAA officials in early February that the 737 MAX could undertake a certification flight, the authority has made no further comment.
Boeing will also have to win over international regulators, including the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
However, the FAA and Boeing have both revealed that changes are planned to the anti-stall software (MCAS). In January, the two added that they were reviewing a wiring issue that could lead to short-circuiting in the jet’s electronic hub.