Boeing is confident that it can recover ground lost by the 737 Max to the rival Airbus A320neo, sales-wise, once the twinjet is back in service.
But the focus for the moment is the aircraft's safe return to operations, which the airframer is aiming to achieve by around January 2020, depending on regulatory approval.
Boeing has announced very few orders for the 737 Max since the grounding in March, although it did disclose a huge commitment at the Paris air show from IAG, for 200 aircraft. To add to Seattle's woes, it emerged at the start of the Dubai air show that the Airbus A320 family's total orders had overtaken the Boeing 737's by the end of October – 15,193 versus 15,136.
"Our number-one priority is the safe return of the aircraft," says Randy Tinseth, Boeing's vice-president of commercial marketing. "Once the airplane returns safely to service, once we start delivering aircraft again, we believe that the value proposition that this airplane brings to the market will speak for itself. But we have a lot of work to do."
While acknowledging that the timing of the Max's return to service will be down to regulators, Tinseth says Boeing is aiming for the aircraft to begin flying again within two to three months.
"As we look at our objectives right now, we are working to get the airplane certified by the end of the year," he says.
"We're working closely with regulators to have training available for the airplane so we can have the return to service in the January timeframe. Ultimately, the sked of all of those activities will be determined by the regulators."