The Strategist

Boeing 737 MAX returns to sky in December

11/19/2020 - 03:16

The U.S. aviation watchdog approved the operation of the Boeing 737 MAX, which was banned for 20 months - the longest period in the country's history. The aircraft will be serviced and the pilots will receive additional training before they start operating.

The first flight after the ban is scheduled for 29 December. However, regulators from Canada, Brazil and Europe, who had previously taken part in the tests and expressed the hope that the aircraft would return to the air by the end of the year, have not yet completed the clearance process. Furthermore, the fate of the 737 MAX in China is unclear, although it is the only market that has recovered from the pandemic.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has allowed the Boeing 737 MAX to return to service. This decision will allow airlines under FAA jurisdiction, including carriers in the United States, to begin taking the necessary actions to reactivate the aircraft, as well as allow the manufacturer to start deliveries, Boeing said.

For 20 months Boeing has been working closely with customers, providing them with detailed advice on technical support during long aircraft stops, the company says. The Airworthiness Directive, issued by the FAA, clarifies the requirements that must be met before US airlines can start operating the aircraft. The requirements include installing updated software, completing the cable separation process, training pilots on the updated procedure, and preparing the aircraft for operation after a prolonged shutdown.

As of March 2019, about 400 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were in service with 59 airlines worldwide, and since then Boeing has built about 450 more aircraft. All of them have to be maintained before they can fly.

In addition, the FAA must approve changes to pilot training programs for each American airline operating a Boeing 737 MAX.

The first flight after reopening will be made by American Airlines, which has scheduled a flight from Miami to New York City on December 29th for the Boeing 737 MAX. Southwest Airlines, the world's largest MAX operator, does not plan to fly the aircraft before the second quarter of 2021.