Boeing had announced that it hoped to receive regulatory approval to resume that plane’s flights in mid-2020, and a company spokesperson confirmed that the deadline is still in place.
The FAA-supervised certification flight, scheduled for April, is a vital step in allowing the challenged plane to resume service after the official order to leave all its aircraft on the ground.
Regulators have banned MAX model flights since March 2019 after two crashes from that plane left 346 dead.
The new delay in returning the aircraft to service occurs when Boeing faces great financial pressure due to the suspension of flights of its best-selling model, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, which has closed its commercial aircraft manufacturing operations in the United States.
United and has devastated the financial prospects of airline customers.
In late October 2018, a 737 MAX from the Indonesian airline Lion Air crashed leaving 189 deaths, and on March 10, 2019, another MAX, from Ethiopian Airlines, had an accident southeast of Addis Ababa shortly after takeoff leaving 157 dead.
Boeing cut production on those planes for much of last year and halted it entirely in January 2020.