This week, American Airlines president Robert Isom shared that the Boeing 737 MAX could return to action before the year is over. The plane has been rigorously monitored since its grounding last spring.
The 737 MAX has remained out of commercial action since March 2019. The decision to suspend flights with the plane followed two tragic accidents, which resulted in 346 fatalities.
Subsequently, for over a year, Boeing has been working rigorously with the FAA to get the plane back into service once again. However, due to the delicate nature of the project, there have been several pushbacks on the aircraft’s return.
A word from the president
According to View from the Wing, Isom told his members of staff that the firm expects the jet to be approved to fly by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in October. Moreover, he believes that it will be back in the skies for commercial use by December.
“We have obviously the 24 aircraft plus more on order…Boeing is going to get the aircraft back up in the air. They’re going through the paces and right now are suggesting it may be ungrounded as soon as October, potentially allowing flights towards the end of the year,” Isom said, as reported by View from the Wing.
“We’ll continue to work with Boeing on it, and just be really flexible. We know it’s gonna be back up, and it’s going to be the safest aircraft possible. And right now if we see it at the end of December that’s probably about the best timing we can think of.”
Simple Flying reached out to American Airlines for comment on these reports. A spokesperson for the carrier clarified that Isom was describing the best case scenario regarding the MAX’s return. However, the return schedule will be determined by the FAA.
The grounding will only be lifted after FAA safety experts are satisfied that the aircraft meets certification standards. Altogether, the operator will resume flying the plane after it is cleared to fly by the FAA and the Allied Pilots Association (APA) MAX Return to Service ad hoc committee.
There is still work to be done
Even after the plane is cleared, airlines will undergo extensive return programs, which will see the plane jet being tested by the companies. Additionally, carriers will incorporate any needed pilot-training requirements into flight manuals, and pilots will undergo the necessary training required.
Altogether, it’s been a long road for Boeing and the 737 MAX, and the manufacturer would be glad to see it back in the skies. However, the demand for the model isn’t so urgent anymore due to the change of climate in the industry. Regardless, once the jet is back in the air, one aviation crisis would at least be over.
What are your thoughts about the return of the Boeing 737 MAX? When do you think American Airlines will be flying with the jet again? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.