U.S. in final stages of review of Boeing 737 MAX

The U.S. aviation safety regulator is poised to approve Boeing's 737 Max passenger jet for a return to service.

The head of the Federal Aviation Adminstration, who took a test flight in September, told Reuters on Monday (November 10) that they expected to complete the review in the coming days.

This is a major milestone for Boeing after it was plunged into its worst-ever crisis last year, after two of its planes crashed in Ethiopia and Indonesia within a five-month period, killing 346 people.

It led to the worldwide grounding of Boeing's best-selling plane in March 2019, which cost the company billions and hobbled its supply chain.

A Justice Department criminal investigation is still ongoing.

Three sources briefed on the matter told Reuters the U.S. safety watchdog was set to lift its grounding order on the plane as early as November the 18th.

But Boeing declined to comment.

Other global regulators are also moving closer to allowing the plane to fly once more.

The ungrounding would be a vital step in a still-ardous path to recovery for Boeing, which was forced this year to shed thousands of jobs and slash production due to the global health crisis.

Boeing has some 450 aircraft manufactured and waiting for delivery. They are being in stored in facilities across the U.S., as the company remains locked in negotiations with airlines.