Mexican carrier Aeromexico has become the latest carrier to plan flights using the infamous Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The carrier will begin with four flights to take place on December 21st using a single aircraft. If all goes well, the airline will bring back more MAX over the coming weeks.
Eight flights in two days
Assuming the schedule goes ahead as planned, Aeromexico will be the second airline to resume flights using the 737 MAX. Since the jet was ungrounded last month, only Brazilian airline GOL has flown the jet. GOL flew the MAX on a domestic route on December 9th; the first MAX flight in 20 months.
Now Aeromexico is set to become the second airline to operate MAX flights ahead of American Airlines who will be the first US carrier to fly the MAX. According to reports, Aeromexico will use one MAX jet to fly from Mexico City to Cancun on the morning of the 21st. The same aircraft will operate a return flight and then head back to Cancun before operating a Tijuana flight. That’s four flights in one day.
The following morning the MAX will head back to Mexico City before going back to Cancun. Then, on to Mexico City, and finally back to Tijuana. That’s eight flights in two days connecting some of Mexico’s most popular destinations just in time for the holidays. If all goes to plan, the airline will look to bring back more of its grounded MAXs on the Mexico City to Cancun route in time for the 24th. Further routes are set to be added from the 27th.
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Ungrounding the MAX
According to Planespotters.net, Aeromexico has six grounded MAX aircraft and seems keen to get all six back in the skies. The airline tweeted its support of the MAX’s recent FAA approval stating,
“Today was a great step toward the #737MAX returning to the skies; one of the safest, modern, and eco-friendly aircraft in the world.”
The MAX received approval from the FAA in the US on November 18th. Despite this, Aeromexico still needs approval from the Mexican Civil Aviation Authority before operating its scheduled flights. Originally, Aeromexico said it expected the MAX to return to service in September, so it’s no surprise the airline is ready to get the plane back in the sky as soon as possible.
— aeromexicousa (@AeromexicoUSA) November 18, 2020
Despite the airline enthusiasm, getting 737 MAX planes back in the sky isn’t as simple as just taking off. All grounded planes will need maintenance checks, having been unused for so long. Also, planes will need to be updated according to the approved changes to the MCAS software and some sensor wiring changes to ensure the planes are safe. Not to mention changes to pilot training. All these things take time.
When airlines finally get their MAX jets back in the sky, there are still plenty of people who will be reluctant to fly on one. Opinion is divided between those who are still cautious of the MAX and those who believe it is now one of the world’s safest planes.
What do you think of the MAX now it has been cleared to fly? Will you be flying on a MAX soon? Let us know how you feel in the comments.