There’s no guarantee the tests will go smoothly. Boeing has had to push back the 737 Max’s return for months due to software glitches, some of which come from flaws that aren’t related to the behavior that led to two fatal crashes. Even so, it’s progress for an aircraft that has been grounded for over a year.
Any return to the sky would be bittersweet, however. Air travel has been upended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many airlines to cancel flights, ground aircraft and cut jobs. Boeing had already frozen 737 Max production at the end of 2019. The 737 Max may get the all-clear without many willing carriers, let alone passengers.