2 Weeks In – How Is American’s MAX Rollout Progressing?

It’s been two weeks since American Airlines returned the Boeing 737 MAX to the US skies. The first week of operations saw roughly two flights per day. But has the airline ramped up its operations in the second week? Simple Flying decided to find out!

American Airlines, Boeing 737 MAX, Return
It’s been two weeks since American Airlines resumed Boeing 737 MAX flights. Photo: American Airlines

While its rollout may be slow, the Boeing 737 MAX is being reintroduced to service by airlines. So far, the rollout has been focused on the Americas, with carriers ranging from GOL to Aeromexico and American Airlines have resumed flights. Later this month, WestJet is planning to resume services in Canada, pending approval from Transport Canada.

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Two more MAXs are flying

As mentioned above, for the first week of MAX operations, American Airlines operated just two flights per day, except for New Year’s Eve. In the past week, things have changed a fair bit. According to data from FlightRadar24.com, eight 737 MAX aircraft have been flying passengers since the aircraft returned to service on December 29th.

The two 737 MAXs reactivated in the past week both began flying passengers on Saturday, January 9th. They are both new aircraft to American Airlines. The aircraft reactivated were,

  • N315SD is a 1.8-year-old Boeing 737 MAX delivered to American Airlines on December 16th.
  • N339SU is a 0.2-year-old Boeing 737 MAX delivered to American Airlines on December 23rd.
American Airlines, Boeing 737 MAX, Return
In the past week, the airline has reactivated two of its 737 MAX aircraft. Photo: American Airlines

The deliveries show that American Airlines is keen to get its new 737 MAXs into service. However, it also shows that the airline doesn’t seem to be prioritizing older or newer aircraft deliveries.

So how many flights are operating?

Over the past week, American Airlines has been operating an average of 11 737 MAX flights per day. From Friday to Monday, the airline operated 12 flights a day with a range of different aircraft. Thursday saw a peak in operations, with the airline operating 13 separate flights with the type. On these dates, the airline was operating roughly five aircraft a day.

American Airlines, Boeing 737 MAX, Return
How American Airlines has been utilizing its reactivated aircraft. Data: Flight Radar24.com | Graph: Simple Flying (Click on the graph to enlarge)

While it may look like a bad game of Tetris, the above graph shows how many flights were operated each day, broken down by aircraft. Each block represents one flight according to data from FlightRadar24.com Looking at January 12th as an example, N314RH operated two flights, N316SE operated one, N324RN operated two, and N339SU operated three.

American Airlines is offering passengers free flight changes if they don’t wish to fly on the 737 MAX. However, it seems as though this hasn’t been much of an issue so far. Last week an American Airlines spokesperson told Simple Flying,

“Bookings on the MAX are comparable to other aircraft, and we aren’t seeing data to suggest customers don’t want to fly the aircraft.”

Have you flown on the Boeing 737 MAX with American Airlines yet? How did you find the flight? Let us know your experiences in the comments!