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Boeing 737 Max aircraft approved to fly again
Boeing 737 Max aircraft approved to fly again

Boeing 737 Max aircraft approved to fly again

The FAA operation is just the first step in allowing 59 airlines – spread across 32 countries – once again to fly 387 aircraft as part of their schedule. The FAA order covers only US domestic flights for 737 Max aircraft operated by American, United and Southwest Airlines, including the 72-seat fleet. Flights to or from other countries must be approved by the flight authorities of those countries.

And for the United States, the FAA stated in a statement that before any aircraft can fly with passengers again, the necessary changes to the 737 Max aircraft specified in the approval process must be installed and the FAA must inspect each passenger aircraft. Pilots also need to complete additional training.

The process is expected to take between a few weeks and a few months, depending on the airline. So far only American Airlines (AAL) Added to its schedule for a number of flights between Miami and New York in late December and early January.
Other airlines are closing. Southwest (LUV), With 34 aircraft – more than any other airline, is not expected to fly passengers on board the 737 Max until spring 2021. United (UAL) It said it expects to start flying in the first three months of 2021.

Weakness in demand

What remains unclear is whether passengers will try to avoid flights at 737 Max when those flights return. US airlines do not charge a change fee for passengers who change their itinerary, so pilots who wish to book from Flight 737 Max can do so without penalty.

The current Consumer Consumer Group, said Thursday, it believes passengers should be able to get a refund on their ticket instead of giving credit if they do not want to fly the 737 Max.

One of the things that could slow down the return flight of the 737 Max was the declining demand for air traffic due to the merger of the Covid-19 epidemic and the global recession as it occurred.

Research firm Ascend by Cirium, a research firm that monitors aircraft usage – and that number does not include the 737 Max aircraft. In contrast, it represents more than 25% of airlines along the global route since the pandemic.

Although there is no need to increase the number of aircraft they fly, airlines still want to start using their 737 Max aircraft to replace the old aircraft in their aircraft, because Max is about 15% more fuel efficient than the old aircraft. Morris, Global Consulting Head at Cirium.

“Even though fuel prices are currently low … that fuel savings can still be something like $ 750- $ 1,000 per aircraft per day,” he said. “In the current environment, airlines want to keep as much cash as possible [those savings are] Welcome. “

Family members of the victim speak out

Some family members of those killed in the crash opposed Max’s return. They say Boeing made a mistake in designing it, the latest generation of long-range aircraft, which endangered their model, and that the FAA was guilty of approving the original version and confirming it would fly now.

“The plane was unstable and unreasonable,” said Michael Stumo, daughter of Samaya Rose Stumo, who died in an Ethiopian airliner crash. “They have not fixed it so far. Public aviation should avoid Max in the future. Change your flight.”

Stumo and other family members held a press conference Tuesday before the announcement. Stumo said the FAA should have called for a third sensor to determine if the plane was in danger of stopping. He said there should be other changes in the way pilots will be notified if there is a problem.

“We as family members want to avoid a third accident,” he said.

The Association of Aviation Pilots, a union representing pilots at several U.S. airlines, including Southwest and United States, said that while it continues to evaluate the rules of crew training specifically for returning aircraft to service, “ALPA believes that this”‘s “aircraft-efficient and efficient service will be a viable part of the aircraft.

An investigation into how to fix the plane is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, but questions have been raised about the plane.

The FAA and Boeing praised the process

“The road to get to this point is long and tedious,” FAA Executive Director Steve Dickson said in a video statement. “But we said at the beginning that we would take the time needed to get this right. We were never set by a deadline, but rather followed a procedural and intentional security procedure. In the meantime, the FAA staff is working hard to resolve the issue.”

As part of the review process, Dickson flew its own aircraft in September, and must pass a trained pilot.

“Based on all the activities we have done over the last 20 months, and my personal experience flying an airplane, I can tell you that I am now 100% comfortable with my family flying,” he said.

The FAA has been working throughout the process with flight crews around the world, and most are expected to issue their own orders to make the aircraft different. But there may be delays in returning aircraft to service worldwide. The European Aviation Safety Authority, which regulates aviation in Europe, said Wednesday that action is expected in late December or early 2021.

And the Canadian Transport Regulator said it expects to conclude its review “soon,” although it added, “there will be differences between what the FAA has approved today, and what Canada will require of its operators.”

Boeing also said it was confident the aircraft would be safe to fly once all required steps had been taken.

“We will not forget the lives lost in the two tragic accidents that led to the decision to suspend operations,” said David Calhoun, chief executive officer of Boeing. “These events and the lessons we have learned as a result of changing our company and are focused on our core values ​​of safety, quality and integrity.”

Problems throughout the inspection

In addition to updating the software to the faulty security system, problems with the safety of the aircraft were discovered. There are also questions about the lack of training for pilots moving from the original 737 to the 737 Max, which is the selling point of the aircraft.
The investigation also revealed that several Boeing employees expressed personal suspicions about the plane during the initial approval process.

“Would you put your family on the highest-trained aircraft?” A co-worker wrote in an open source during an investigation. Another worker described the plane as “designed by comedians, supervised by monkeys.” And another simply wrote, “Bad design

CNN’s Pete Muntean, Gregory Wallace and Hanna Ziady contribute to this report