American Airlines has operated over 450 flights with the Boeing 737 MAX since returning the type to service a month ago. The airline was the first major airline in the United States to resume 737 MAX operations once it had been cleared to fly by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Having been grounded for two years, the 737 MAX is now in the process of being returned to service across the world. While the initial rollout was slow, it has started to gather pace in recent weeks. Indeed, just this week, both EASA and the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority have approved the aircraft to return to service.
450+ flights in one month
Tomorrow will mark one month since American Airlines resumes flights with the Boeing 737 MAX. Initially, the airline’s operations consisted of one return flight a day during the first week. However, it has been ramping up operations with each passing week.
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15 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have entered service with American Airlines in the past week. The airline saw a dip in MAX flights on Tuesday and Wednesday, likely due to low load factors on these days. Excluding these days, the airline operated between 36-40 flights a day using the MAX.
According to an analysis of FlightRadar24.com records by Simple Flying, since resuming MAX operations, American Airlines has operated 458 flights with the type. In the past week alone, the airline operated 217 flights, almost half its total flights for the month. If the current rate of growth is sustained, the airline could easily top 1,000 flights next month.
What’s happening elsewhere with the MAX?
Brazilian airline GOL was the first to bring the Boeing 737 MAX back to service in early December. The airline has been flying seven 737 MAXs, half that of American Airlines, yet it aimed to fly 1,000 737 MAX flights during January.
According to Boeing’s results call earlier this week, since the FAA reauthorized 737 MAX flights, Boeing has delivered over 40 aircraft, including to American Airlines. The MAX has completed over 2,700 flights across the fleet, equating to some 5,500 flight hours since being given the green light.
Other United States carriers are now looking to resume Boeing 737 MAX services. United Airlines is set to be next, with flights continuing on February 11th. Southwest Airlines, currently the biggest operator of the Boeing 737 MAX, is set to follow one month later. The airline said yesterday that it would resume flights with the 737 MAX on March 11th.
Despite getting the green light from EASA on Wednesday, no European MAX operator has yet laid out plans to resume 737 MAX flights. Ryanair is keen to begin operations with the type as soon as they get their first delivery, initially planned for April 2019.
Have you flown on the 737 MAX with American Airlines yet? Let us know how you found it in the comments!