American Airlines has become the first United States airline to resume Boeing 737 MAX flights following the FAA’s recertification of the aircraft last month. The aircraft took off from Miami. It will fly to La Guardia before returning to Miami later today.
While the FAA was the first aviation authority to recertify the Boeing 737 MAX having issued its type certificate, a US airline was not the first to return the type to service. GOL in Brazil was the first airline to resume MAX flights, followed by Aeromexico.
Resuming MAX flights
With the departure of American Airlines flight 718, the carrier became the first to resume flights with the 737 MAX in the United States. The 737 MAX, registered as N314RH, departed Miami at 10:40. With a scheduled departure time of 10:32, the aircraft is scheduled to land in New York’s La Guardia Airport at 13:30. According to data from FlightRadar24.com, it is currently estimated to arrive at 13:06.
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After an hour in New York, the aircraft will return to Miami this afternoon, departing at 14:30, and arriving at 17:44.
A daily rotation
American Airlines will be operating a daily rotation of the Boeing 737 MAX to La Guardia for the time being. Tomorrow, another 737 MAX registered as N324RN is due to operate the return to New York. Over the coming month, it will begin gradually adding further services. The airline will soon reach 36 MAX departures each day from Miami.
American Airlines has said that any passengers not willing to fly on the Boeing 737 MAX will not be made to. While the airline mentions if a flight is being operated on its booking engine, the airline will seek to accommodate them on an alternate flight if a passenger misses this.
What about other airlines?
American Airlines is one of four US airlines to have ordered the 737 MAX, and one of three to have received deliveries. The other two with the aircraft already in their fleet are United Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
Just under two weeks ago, Simple Flying reported that United Airlines would resume flights with the Boeing 737 MAX on February 11th, just under two years after the aircraft was initially grounded. On the other hand, Southwest Airlines seems in no rush to return the aircraft to service while other Boeing 737s remain grounded due to the pandemic. In a letter earlier this year, the airline’s CEO estimated that the aircraft would return to passenger service in Q2 of 2021.
While Alaska Airlines is yet to receive its first 737 MAX aircraft, it remains interested in the type. Last week, it signed a new order of the kind bringing total orders and commitments to 120 units.
Would you fly on the Boeing 737 MAX when it returns to service? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!