Involved in two air disasters that killed a total of 346, the Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded around the world since March 2019.
After major modifications and the discovery of several defects, the FAA, the certification body in the United States, could issue a new operating license for this device in November.
“We are keeping in touch with the FAA and Boeing on the certification process and we will continue to update our programs according to the certification schedule of the aircraft,” said American Airlines, which wishes to return it to service quickly for commercial flights. .
A first Miami – New York connection
Initially, the American company intends to make a daily connection between Miami and New York with this aircraft between December 29 and January 4.
Reservations should even open from October 24. However, the company wants to take the lead a little and ensures that customers will be warned upstream that this route will be made by this type of device. One way to avoid a surprise effect at the last moment with passengers refusing to board when they discover the plane.
In Europe too, the lights are turning green. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has said it is happy with the changes Boeing has made to its medium-haul.
According to the air regulation gendarme in Europe, the MAX’s level of safety should allow it to take to the air before the end of 2020. A decision which comes after numerous test flights. “Our analysis shows that it is safe, and that the level of safety achieved is high enough for us,” said Patrik Ky, Executive Director of EASA.
More brakes on resuming flights
However, the 737 MAX will still encounter many obstacles. It is not certain that other certification agencies like in China take the same position on the level of security of the device.
But above all, companies will find themselves faced with a double problem before resuming the commercial operation of these devices. The new certifications of the Boeing 737 MAX will require more or less important periods of training for the pilots. However, this obligatory passage could take several months, due to a lack of suitable flight simulators in sufficient number. More importantly, passengers may be reluctant towards the 737 MAX and could choose another company that uses another device.
In addition, airlines that have ordered 737 MAXs and are going through a financial crisis may also ask to postpone receipt of the devices in the coming months.
In the meantime, this possible end to the immobilization of planes should be good news for Boeing, which has resumed production of the aircraft but whose accounts have been cut by more than 17 billion euros because of these aircraft nailed to the ground.