Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Jose Munoz, chief performance officer of Nissan Motor Co., speaks during the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan, Jan. 15, 2018.
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said Wednesday that he has no idea when Boeing’s grounded 737 Max jets will fly again.
“I think it’s fair to say that we do not know yet … We have really no sense of it at this point in time,” he said on CNBC’s “The Exchange.”
The Max has been grounded since mid-March after its anti-stall software was implicated in two crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia since October that killed a total of 346 people. United has grounded its 14 Boeing Max jets through early July, along with other carriers like Southwest and American.
“It’s important that when we return this aircraft to flight, that we do it in relative unison and lockstep around not just the U.S. but the world. So we’ll have to monitor and engage that,” Munoz said.
Boeing, which expects a $1 billion hit from the groundings, said Wednesday it will pause share buybacks and is withdrawing its full-year 2019 financial forecast while it works works on a software update. The company has cut production and halted deliveries. It said it’s completed 96 flights totaling over 159 hours of air time with its new anti-stall software upgrade.
United Continental Holdings, the parent company of United, reported earnings on Tuesday that topped Wall Street estimates on first-quarter profit but missed on revenue. United has 16 Maxes scheduled for delivery in the second half of the year, and Munoz said that if the grounding continues the airline will feel the impact.