American Airlines Certain That 737 MAX Will Fly By September

It’s been almost a month since we wrote about how American Airlines is including the 737 MAX aircraft in its September schedule. Things haven’t seemed to change, and the airline’s CEO, Doug Parker, seems certain that things will go according to schedule…

American Airlines currently has 24 737 MAX 8 jets with 76 on order. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

CEO remarks

According to aviation site View from the Wing, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker was asked about the timeline for bringing the Boeing 737 MAX back into service. This took place at an employee question and answer forum and here are some of his remarks from the event:

“What I understand is there is an absolute software fix that is this close to being certified, but they’ve been saying that for awhile. I think, as much as anything now, it may be politics as much as true certification and kind of safety issue…I don’t think the FAA wants to be alone in doing this and may want some other countries to come along. But there absolutely is a fix. We, at American, are selling tickets on 737s. We’re selling it for September 4th; we wouldn’t be selling it if we didn’t think it would be flying by then.”

The remarks indicate that Parker believes the lengthy recertification process is due to politics more than any other issues. Could he be right?

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The FAA

As reported in a previous article, the worldwide grounding of 737 MAX aircraft saw a shift in regulatory authority, with China becoming the first country to ask domestic airlines to ground their MAX fleets.

It has been more common for national aviation agencies to follow the lead of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). However, after China, other countries followed suit. This left the FAA as one of the last authorities to ground it’s airlines’ fleets.

Parker’s comments allude to the fact that the FAA might need to regain some credibility. It was slow to act, while the agencies of other countries made their own decisions. Cooperating with other agencies will earn additional public trust in its decision to allow the 737 MAX to fly again.

Other agencies include:

  • The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
  • Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA)
  • The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
  • and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)
The airline has scheduled flights to Medellin, Colombia and St. Maarten in September. Photo: Flickr user Prayitno

With more than 35 airlines across the globe operating 737 MAX aircraft, they are all certainly eager to have their respective aviation authorities lift the ban.

Conclusion

We know that the carrier plans to fly executives around on the aircraft before reintroducing it to service. American Airlines is hoping that by having some of the airline’s executives on board before the general public, it will inspire passengers to fly the aircraft. It seems like a wise move and a good public relations activity. Let’s hope it works!

The FAA has authority over US airspace. Other countries will also need to approve the 737MAX to fly over their space as well. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In the end, Parker was as realistic as much as he was optimistic. He said,

“If we’re not much more certain than we are today that … it’s going to be ready on September 4th, you may see us push it back another month … sometime early- to mid-July.”

8 comments
  1. Both Boeing and the FAA said the 737 Max was safer originally and also safe even after 2 crashes and the rest of the world grounded them.
    Why would anyone believe anything they have to say about safety now?
    They used to be the safest in the world. Now it is all about profits so we are on our own for safety.

  2. Boeing’s actions/inactions are so far beyond negligent that it’s bordering on deliberate.
    Let’s say you wanted the plane to randomly crash.
    Make a system that decides whether to dive the plane into the water/ground or not depend on only one damage-prone sensor. Then tell everyone it really depends on two.
    Tell everyone it’s really weak then make it 4X more powerful than anyone knows including the test pilots.
    Don’t test to see what happens if the single sensor fails.
    Install a sensor disagree light but make sure it’s disabled.
    Take any reference to how the MCAS works out of the manual.
    Don’t tell pilots anything about it.
    Make sure the simulators are also flawed so they can’t reproduce the crash scenario.
    Don’t put in a simple OFF switch for MCAS.
    We already know the FAA will approve anything.
    Yep. That should do it. Twice.
    The safest thing is to avoid the 737 Max. We are on our own for safety. Just avoid the 737 Max when Boeing is testing software with passengers again.
    The only reason there were no US crashes is 80% of them are not in the US.
    Russian Roulette works like that.

    1. When it’s approved to fly, I’ll be on it. Admittedly there have been issues with the system, but I find it a little odd that American and European airlines have had no crashes. Better pilot raining?

      1. The answer to your question was already contained in Bob Braan’s comment…which you evidently need to read again. Hint: search for “80”…

    2. I totally agree the Max backlash on social media is going to be huge! Boeing has to redesign this thing I don’t want this aircraft in the sky – flawed aerodynamics need fixing it’s not a software fix that’s needed. Boeing ng has the ability to build great planes however the rolling ineffective decision with the latest 737 will be a business case study for the next 100 years! Stop th8nking about an NMA and press the button on a new single isle design. That’s what’s needed for the next 30 years of aviation. Will I get on one? No Boeing and airlines need to know how people feel.

  3. When a stall warning goes of it should be indicative of a stall if not then we have a problem in today’s multisensorial and computerized world it should NOT BE WRONG and when it is no longer in a stall or approaching a stall then it should not continue to show a stall. The Max still has that. Have there been multiple failures of the AoA sensors YES did the aircraft crash YES did anyone survive NO were the pilots competent 2 check and training captains and a senior captain so YES. Hmm who are we trust? The above accident occurred on a A320 in France on a test flight when Air New Zealand was picking up its A320 from lease.

  4. Wishful thinking by the AA CEO. If it was up to the FAA, the Max would still be flying, but it is now out of their hands. Given how the US has treated the rest of the world, as of late – you can bet the re-certification is not going to a) be cheap and b) be quick.

    Airlines are going to be mandated to have sim training and Boeing is going to have to pick up that tab.
    Since all aircraft have now be grounded for more then 2 months, they are considered to be in long term storage – which will mean something akin to a C-Check to get them flying again. Put that on the Boeing credit card, too.
    Then airlines that fly the Max will have to convince the public that it is safe to fly, probably with some heavy advertising – increase the Boeing marketing budget.
    Not to mention that for the first little while, planes will probably be flown half empty, with a few brave souls willing to be guinea pigs for corporate ‘Murica.

    Financial analysts have said the cost to Boeing is about $5 billion a quarter, as long it is not flying. We’re 10 days into the second qtr., with a 30 day buffer to get the aircraft ready. In 50 more days, it’ll be $10 billion.

    Then come the lawsuits…

  5. I see American will fly the max from Miami to Medellin starting in September. This is route I take 4 times a year. Now this makes really upset that Delta quit this route last year.

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