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American Airlines to resume Boeing 737 Max passenger flights today

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American Airlines is the first domestic carrier to resume flights with Boeing’s 737 Max, after the plane was taken out of service more than a year ago. CNBC reports that the return of the ship to active duty begins with flight 718, a round trip from Miami to New York.

It will be the first time since March. In 2019, a 737 Max will run a commercial service in the U.S. after being landed following two fatal accidents. However, it has already traveled in other countries, including Gol do Brasil, which resumed its flight on December 9.

Boeing’s 737 Max was an upgrade to the 737, a cornerstone for short- and medium-haul routes around the world. The aerospace giant needed to upgrade its equipment to better compete with the Airbus A320, which led to the renovation of the existing 737 body. Boeing said there was so little time to adapt, and it required pilots not to need time on a simulator, making it a big sell for airlines looking to save on training.

But the plane that is new, bigger, and with new engines that were at risk of taking a break in mid-flight at full altitude, something Boeing did not mention. Instead, it built a software system – Maneuvering Characteristic Augmentation System-MCAS – that would automatically take effect to avoid these pauses.

american airlines vai retomar hoje voos de passageiros boeing 737 max

The MCAS broke down, however, which led to two fatal accidents: Lion Air flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. A subsequent investigation found that Boeing employees had already raised major concerns about the system’s design and operation. And the FAA added that it had failed to supervise when it originally certified the plane as safe. After the accidents, the 737 Max was ‘grounded’, with Boeing spending the next 18 months working to solve its problems. This process revealed a number of additional bugs within the system that needed their own time to be fixed, further delaying their return.

The FAA rebuilt the plane in November (regulators in Europe did the same in October) and American Airlines quickly conducted a test flight – with members of the press on board – in early December. The airline stated that passengers who do not wish to fly in a 737 Max will be offered “flexible reservations”.

Several other airlines hope to return the 737 Max to the skies by 2021, with United Airlines planning to resume service in February. However, airlines say it will resume at any time in the second quarter of 2021, at least until June. It remains to be seen, however, whether a plane that has been taken as an example of how Boeing’s culture has failed, and as a wider calamity, will be able to win over a suspicious audience.

An exterior view of an American Airlines B737 MAX plane, as pictured above, is seen at Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas, on December 2, 2020.

The Boeing 737 MAX took another fundamental step on its return to commercial travel, trying to reassure the public with an American Airlines test flight conducted for the media. After being grounded for 20 months as a result of two fatal accidents, the US air safety authorities in mid-November, MAX authorized MAX to return to service following changes to aircraft and pilot training protocols.

Source: Engadget

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