Brazil Won’t Lift Grounding Of The B737 MAX Yet

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The Civil Aviation National Agency of Brazil (ANAC) is not lifting its current ban on the Boeing 737 MAX family just yet. While it recognizes the work done by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it is still working on the final adjustments of its own recertification process.

Brazil is not approving the Boeing 737 MAX just yet. Photo: Nathan Coats via Wikimedia Commons.

Brazil was waiting for the FAA approval

The ANAC said that it was waiting for the MAX’s FAA approval to launch the final steps of its recertification process. The objective is to demonstrate that the MAX is safe with the new proposed modifications.

The Brazilian regulator said that the recertification process is an example of worldwide cooperation. Close to 20 Brazilian representatives of ANAC have worked closely with the FAA and other entities like EASA and Transport Canada.

Rafael Botelho, president of ANAC, said,

“This effort is an example of cooperation among civil aviation authorities. Few countries have the experience to recertify a system that is so complex. In the meantime, ANAC works with independent evaluators. We are securing that all the requirements are fulfilled for the safe return of this aircraft in Brazil.”

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737 MAX production
Approximately 450 MAX aircraft are thought to be awaiting delivery. Photo: Getty Images

What about GOL?

GOL Linhas Aereas is the only Brazilian carrier to have Boeing 737 MAX in its fleet currently. It has seven parked Boeing 737 MAX 8. Additionally, it has 95 more on order (originally, it was due to receive 129, but reduced it due to the COVID-19 crisis).

The remaining order is comprised of 737 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 22 737 MAX 10 aircraft. During the third quarter financial results, GOL said that a single fleet of planes would provide the greatest cost-benefit. It will enable the company to be more competitive than its peers on fares and service, GOL said.

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In a statement sent to Simple Flying, GOL said,

“The lift of the Boeing 737 MAX commercial ban is an important step for GOL, which participated in the whole process of recertification of the aircraft. Once ANAC authorizes the aircraft’s use, we expect that our 737 MAX fleet will return into service in the next 30 days. The company is working to guarantee all the technical and operational requirements, including pilots and crews’ training. We reiterate our trust in Boeing. We have worked closely with since the start of our operations in 2001.”

GOL Getty
GOL is the only Brazilian carrier with a fleet of B737 MAX. Photo: Getty Images.

What about other Latin American countries?

Three more airlines across Latin America have Boeing 737 MAX on their fleets. Grupo Aeromexico currently has six, Aerolíneas Argentinas has five, and Copa Airlines has six.

So far, none of the Governments of these three airlines have given a statement regarding the Boeing 737 MAX. But we can expect that Panama and Mexico will follow up the FAA’s decision and lift the MAX grounding shortly. Argentina may wait until Brazil lifts its ban. We contacted the national regulators of each country for comment. We haven’t received an answer so far.

Grupo Aeromexico declined to comment on the subject. The Mexican airline only published a tweet celebrating the imminent return to the skies of one of the “safest, most modern, efficient, and eco-friendly planes in the world.” Copa Airlines and Aerolíneas Argentinas haven’t published a statement so far.

What do you think of Brazil’s decision to wait on lifting the Boeing 737 MAX ban? Let us know in the comments.

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