All eyes are on America’s Federal Aviation Administration for the approval of the certification to resume the Boeing 737 Max services. The approval is likely to arrive by mid-November as per previous estimates. Passengers flying with the 737 Max will also be informed priorly when the services resume.
On Sunday, October 18, American Airlines Inc (NASDAQ: AAL) said that it will resume passenger flights with the controversial Boeing 737 Max jets by the end of 2020 provided it receives the certification of aircraft from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In the beginning, the airline plans to operate a single flight daily between Miami and New York.
The flights will tentatively operate between Dec. 29 to Jan. 4 and the booking will start from October 24. The controversial Boeing 737 Max has been grounded by the FAA after two fatal crashes in March 2019. The incident shook the aviation industry with 346 human lives lost. Apart from American Airlines other major operators like United Airlines Inc (NASDAQ: UAL) and Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE: LUV) also have the 737 Max jets.
As per the previous reports, the FAA is likely to lift the grounding order by mid-November. However, on Sunday, the FAA said that there’s no specific timeline for approving the plane’s return to service. The agency also noted that the FAA “will lift the grounding order only after FAA safety experts are satisfied that the aircraft meets certification standards”.
Earlier this month, the FAA also issued a draft report with revised training procedures for the Boeing 737 Max. The draft will be available for public comments next month on November 2.
On the other hand, American Airlines said that it is in touch with the FAA and the aircraft-maker Boeing for the certification process. It will further update its plans based on the certification approval from the FAA. It will also make its customers aware priorly if they’re flying on a Boeing 737 Max.
American Airlines has a fleet of 24 aircraft from the 737 Max with additional 76 jets on order. The airline-operator also has “agreements” with Boeing to additional 32 spare engines available by the year-end.
United Airlines and Southwest Likely to Resume 737 Max Services In 2021
In addition to American Airlines, other airline carrier operators will also resume services with its 737 Max soon. In a word with TheStreet, United Airlines have no set plans to resume the passenger service this year. However, it is hopeful that it will resume in 2021 following approval from the FAA. The company spokesperson told the publication:
“We don’t know the exact date the MAX will be recertified. And at this point, we don’t have them in the schedule this year, so likely sometime next year based on the schedule we hear from the FAA and Boeing.”
Another U.S. carrier Southwest Airlines also told the publication that it will resume services for its fleet of 737 Max jets by 2021. Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said:
“We are hopeful to return the MAX to service in the first quarter of 2021, but of course, timing is dependent upon FAA certification”.
The Coronavirus pandemic has already crushed and battered the airline industry with the biggest blow in the last many decades. In such a situation, any development would be welcoming for the airline operators. The airline industry is also looking for a special stimulus from the U.S. government to keep its operations alive.
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