The Boeing single ailsle commercial jet has been approved by the FAA to resume carrying passengers after being grounded for almost 2 year in response to major problems….
After 20 months on the ground, Boeing’s 737 Max will soon fly again, ending a tragic episode that cost 346 people their lives and did serious damage to the big U.S. jet builder.
The company on Wednesday got clearance for the plane to return to American skies after convincing the Federal Aviation Administration that changes in design, software and crew training would eliminate the flaws that caused fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019.
This will not put Boeing’s troubles behind it. The company, which had predicted billions of dollars in losses because of the grounding, has also been crippled by the ruinous blow that the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global aviation.
An industrial icon, Boeing is the largest manufacturing exporter in the United States, one of the federal government’s biggest contractors, a blue chip stock and a major employer whose fortunes help shape the national economy.
Boeing expects to start 2021 with a global work force of about 130,000, down nearly 19 percent from its head count at the start of this year. Reviving its Max business will be a major test of the company’s ability to withstand the pandemic and re-establish its longtime stature.
“This is their core aircraft, so the future lays on the shoulders of the Max,” said Vitaly Guzhva, a professor of finance at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
The Max is the latest offering in Boeing’s 737 line, a single-aisle jet used by airlines around the world for flights of a few hours….
The F.A.A. must still approve pilot training procedures for each U.S. airline operating the Max, planes need to be updated, and airlines suffering from a huge decline in traffic during the pandemic may feel little urgency to act quickly.
American Airlines is expected to be the first U.S. carrier to fly the Max, with plans to use the plane from Dec. 29 to Jan. 4 for flights connecting Miami with La Guardia Airport in New York.
United Airlines said it expected to start flying the Max in the first quarter of next year after 1,000 hours of work on every plane and “meticulous technical analysis.” Southwest Airlines said it did not expect to resume flights until the second quarter.