19:21 GMT28 October 2020
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    The US aerospace firm has been reportedly cleared for progress in talks to return to Europe's skies, despite uncertainty with US regulators following two deadly crashes and information leaks on the company's conduct, it was revealed on Friday.

    The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has reportedly said Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft is safe enough to return to flight in the the bloc's airspace, Bloomberg reported.

    Europe's top aviation regulator added it is performing reviews of final paperwork before a crucial draft airworthiness directive set for November.

    "Our analysis is showing that this is safe, and the level of safety reached is high enough for us. What we discussed with Boeing is the fact that with the third sensor, we could reach even higher safety levels," EASA executive director Patrick Ky told Bloomberg.

    According to the exec, the sensor would help pilots navigate if mechanical angle-of-attack sensors in the aircraft failed.

    The news comes as the Federal Aviation Administration has made similar moves to recertify the plane, despite the US regulator being hit by scandals from the original certification process.

    FAA administrator Stephen Dickson announced in late September that progress had been made to fix problems with the aircraft but added there would be no solid timeline for clearing the plane to return.

    Cancelled Orders Amid COVID-19, 737 MAX Grounding

    The interview comes amid concerns that cancelled or impaired orders for the aviation firm have reached nearly 1,000 units, with no sales reported in September due to the 737 Max crisis and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    983 plane orders were cancelled this year, accounting for nearly a third of lost sales, according to data from the company published on Tuesday.

    Remaining cancellations were considered potentially scrapped by US accounting standards, Bloomberg reported.

    Further headaches were revealed after just 28 planes were delivered in third quarter reports, down from 63 units in 2019, due to ongoing production problems requiring additional repairs for 787 Dreamliners, it was reported.

    “We continue to work closely with our customers around the globe, understanding their near-term and longer-term fleet needs, aligning supply and demand while navigating the significant impact this global pandemic continues to have on our industry," company chief financial officer, Greg Smith, said in a statement.

    Numerous problems for the Chicago-based firm erupted after two deadly plane crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, killing 346 people, leading to global aviation authorities grounding the plane from March last year.

    The crashes were linked mainly to the plane's Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which caused the two aircraft to nosedive despite pilot efforts to stabilise the plane, among other flaws, whistleblowers revealed.

    The troubled aerospace company may lay off more than 10 percent of its workforce, according to chief executive David Calhoun. Following revenue losses of over $19bn in its commercial aircraft, the company has shifted to space and defence.

    Production for several aircraft, including 737 MAX, 777, 777X and 787 planes, are set to be slashed in the coming months, and will cease for the 747 "Queen of the Skies".

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    Tags:
    Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), plane crash, The Boeing Co, Boeing 787, Boeing 767, Boeing 777, Boeing 737, Boeing
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