In November, the Boeing 737 MAX was recertified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. Ahead of the resumption of services by American Airlines, the airline’s CEO yesterday took to the skies in the latest generation of Boeing narrowbody.
The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 following a second fatal crash of the type involving an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa. Since then, a large amount of public confidence in the aircraft type has vanished. To improve the aircraft’s image, key aviation figures have been showing that they will fly on the aircraft.
Doug Parker rides the Boeing 737 MAX
One of the industry personnel keen to show their confidence in the Boeing 737 MAX was American Airlines’ CEO Doug Parker. Yesterday, he flew on one of the aircraft from Tulsa, where it had been in storage, to Dallas Fort Worth.
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However, Parker wasn’t alone. He was joined on the flight by other American Airlines management members, such as airline President Robert Isom, in addition to his wife, Gwen. Previously, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson commented that he wouldn’t recertify the 737 MAX unless he’d let his family fly on it. Parker is thought to be the first person to carry family on the MAX since the aircraft was grounded.
Commenting on the flight, Parker said on Instagram,
“I’ve long said that when American Airlines pilots – who are the best in the business – are comfortable and confident in flying the MAX, so am I… Many thanks to American’s pilots, flight attendants, Tech Ops team and safety experts who worked tirelessly to get this right for the flying public.”
The flight details
Doug Parker and his fellow passengers flew onboard an American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 registered as N308RD. According to Planespotters.net, the aircraft is three years old, having been delivered to the airline in late December 2017.
However, yesterday was the first time the aircraft had flown since it was ferried to Tulsa in April 2019. Before returning the aircraft to service, American’s team of mechanics is installing Boeing’s new software on each aircraft before completing return to service tasks.
The aircraft also embarked on a two-hour test flight before carrying Parker, as all the airline’s 737 MAXs will. During this flight, the aircraft reached a height of 41,000 feet and completed a go-around upon its return to the airport, according to FlightRadar24.com.
The flight carrying Parker carried the flight number AA9750, departing from Tulsa at 17:34. The aircraft climbed to 22,000 feet for the flight before descending and landing in Dallas at 18:31. Today the aircraft is completing further flights before positioning to Miami tomorrow.
American Airlines will resume passenger flights on the 737 MAX on December 29th, when the aircraft will begin a daily rotation to La Guardia. After this, American Airlines will slowly roll out the type on more routes departing Miami in the new year.
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