Boeing 737 Max Resumes Flying U.S. Passengers After 2-Yr Halt
American plans to use Max for daily flights between Miami International Airport and La Guardia Airport until Monday. The airline plans to increase services after that, using the plane for up to 38 flights a day by mid-February. From mid-February to early March, the American expects to operate up to 91 Max flights per day.
The captain of the American flight, Sean Roskey, told the passengers before take-off that he had “absolute confidence in the safety of this aircraft”, according to a video shared by an NBC News reporter who was on the flight.
“I just want to thank all of you for your trust in all of us,” said Roskey, who has worked in America for nearly three decades.
His wife, Ann, was on the flight, as was the mother of the first officer, Moraima Maldonado, according to the airline. Mr. Roskey and Ms. Maldonado also flew the return flight to Miami.
Prior to landing, America flew more than 18,000 flights using the Max. It has 31 of these aircraft in its fleet, with 69 orders.
Like other airlines, American said it would currently allow passengers worried about flying to Max to book their flight to avoid the plane or receive credit for future travel. About 2,600 airline Boeing 737 pilots will be retrained to fly the Max, a process that includes classroom updates and simulator training. In addition to FAA supervision, each Max jet will be subject to internal inspection and readiness flight before carrying passengers. Tuesday’s flight had the capacity to accommodate 172 passengers – 16 in business class and the rest in economy class.
United Airlines said it expects to launch the Max on February 11 from Denver and Houston. The airline has already scheduled flights using the plane from Houston to Los Angeles, Orlando, San Diego and Tampa, and between Los Angeles and Orlando, according to Cirium, an aviation data company.