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Boeing says it will not win approval to return MAX to service before 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co BA.N acknowledged on Thursday it will not win approval this year from the Federal Aviation Administration to return the 737 MAX to service after the company's chief executive met with senior officials in Washington.

Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg met with Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson, and the company said in a statement it will “work with the FAA to support their requirements and their timeline as we work to safely return the Max to service in 2020.”

Earlier, the FAA told Congress that Dickson was “concerned that Boeing continues to pursue a return-to-service schedule that is not realistic.” Boeing said in November it expected the FAA to unground the plane in mid-December.

Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis