American Airlines Resumes Commercial Flight With Boeing 737 Max

After a 20-month Safety ban on Boeing 737 Max, American Airlines on Tuesday became the first U.S. carrier to resume commercial flight service with the Boeing 737 Max.

Since its grounding in March 2019 with a flight from Miami to New York LaGuardia Airport. The landmark flight followed the return of the Max to service with Aeromexico on December 18 and Brazil’s Gol on December 9.

The American Airlines flight 718 landed at New York’s LaGuardia Airport around 1:08pm after departing Miami about two- and-a- half hours earlier.

According to reports, the wife of the flight Captain and the first officer’s mother  were both on board the flight.

American said it would take a phased approach to return to service all 25 of the Max jets so far delivered to the airline following a series of non-commercial flights in early December. Its schedules now show two flights a day—consisting of the round trip between Miami and New York—through January 4. The airline added that it expects to gradually return more airplanes into revenue service in January, reaching 36 departures from its Miami hub depending on the day of the week.

American has now taken 25 Max 8s of an order for 100 placed in 2013.

“We’ve implemented rigorous processes to ensure that every plane in the air is safe and our pilots, flight attendants, team members, and customers are confident in the return of the 737 Max,” the company said in a statement. “This includes investing in extensive training and plans to fly the aircraft before it returns to commercial use. Our approximately 2,600 Boeing 737 pilots will complete the FAA-mandated and approved training, which includes computer-based training, classroom briefings, and dedicated return to service training in a 737 Max simulator.”

The twin crashes of the 737 Max that killed 346 people and forced the worldwide grounding of the model in March 2019 led to a raft of new safety-related requirements that accompanied the FAA’s November 18 airworthiness directive allowing it to return to service. Along with addressing new training mandates and software improvement, the FAA’s airworthiness directive requires completing wire separation modifications and accomplishing what Boeing called de-preservation activities to ensure the airplanes’ readiness for service.

Separately, the FAA will retain its authority to issue airworthiness certificates and export certificates for all new 737 Max airplanes manufactured since the grounding and perform in-person, individual reviews of each aircraft.

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