American Airlines has taken delivery of a new Boeing 737 MAX. Following United, the carrier is now able to take the much-awaited aircraft after the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ungrounded the aircraft last month. The aircraft is a Boeing 737 MAX 8.
American Airlines takes a new Boeing 737 MAX
American Airlines confirmed that it took a new Boeing 737 MAX 8 on December 10th. This came after United Airlines took the first 737 MAX delivery post-ungrounding. The aircraft is registered as N323SG, according to data from Planespotters.net. The aircraft flew for about three hours on the date of delivery from Seattle’s Boeing Field (BFI) to Tulsa (TUL), according to Flightradar24.
American Airlines has 24 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet. With this new delivery, the airline now has 25 of the type in its fleet. American Airlines still has a backlog of 75 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. There are seven more expected in 2020, 18 in 2021, 10 in 2022, and 40 in 2025 and beyond. Note that delivery schedules can remain fluid, so some of those deliveries may get pushed around a bit.
American’s Boeing 737 MAX
American Airlines only flies the Boeing 737 MAX 8. These planes seat 172 passengers in a two-class configuration. There are 16 recliner-style first class seats, 30 extra-legroom economy seats, and 126 standard economy seats.
These aircraft are part of American’s fleet modernization program. The carrier also operates Boeing 737-800 jets, over 300 of them, in fact. These aircraft are undergoing a harmonization to make them configurationally similar to the Boeing 737 MAX. However, the MAX has advantages the 737-800 does not.
Where will American fly the 737 MAX?
American Airlines will initially be flying the route domestically. One of the first routes to expect this aircraft is between Miami and New York, starting from the end of the month. Once more countries recertify the MAX and American gets more of the aircraft ready to enter active service, the carrier will fly the MAX to more destinations.
The 737 MAX is one of American’s more versatile narrowbody aircraft. Without the Boeing 757 and the A321XLR still a few years out, American uses the 737 MAX on routes to Central and South America from Miami. This includes flights to Quito, among others. It is also expected that American will use the MAX to operate more domestic routes once it takes more of the jets.
As of now, American has not scheduled the MAX to return on any of these routes to South America, as it works to get all the planes operational first and sort out deliveries with Boeing.
Getting the 737 MAX back to service
American Airlines has already stated it will not force customers to fly on the Boeing 737 MAX. If a customer is on a MAX and does not want to fly the MAX, they can rebook on the next available flight in the same cabin for free, cancel their trip and receive credits redeemable with American, or else change their itinerary within a 300-mile radius if there is no alternative American Airlines flight available to get them where they want to go.
In the background, American Airlines has focused on getting its pilots trained and ready for flight. All roughly 2,600 Boeing 737 pilots at the airline will undergo FAA-mandated training, including computer-based training, classroom briefings, and simulator training.
American has been flying Boeing 737 MAX test and observation flights. These flights to nowhere are designed to instill operational and employee confidence in the jet.
Are you excited to see American take a new Boeing 737 MAX? Let us know in the comments!