All Boeing 737 Max aircraft were grounded after two crashes involving the jets over the past year killed a total of 346 people. But come January, the planes will likely be in the air again. American Airlines announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday that two software upgrades for the jet are expected to be approved by the end of the year, at which point flights can resume, ABC News reports. Per CNBC, no Boeing 737 Max flights appear on American's schedule until Jan. 16, 2020. That's later than the other two US carriers ordered to stop flying the jets: Reuters reports that United Airlines has pulled all 737 Max flights from its schedule until Dec. 19 of this year, while Southwest Airlines has canceled them through Jan. 5, 2020.
The FAA, Boeing, the rest of the aviation industry, technical experts, and international authorities have been working on a fix for the flight control software believed to be at the center of the crashes. On Oct. 30, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg will testify on the issue before Congress, his first appearance before lawmakers since the crashes. He will address, among other things, the software updates that were developed in June. The FAA now must complete its review and schedule test flights before Boeing can submit final certification documents. Regulators have yet to announce when they'll allow US carriers to begin flying the planes again, and some regulators in other countries have expressed other concerns about the design of the 737 Max. (Read more Boeing stories.)