American Airlines flew a Boeing 737 Max with paying passengers from Miami to New York on Tuesday, the plane’s first commercial flight in U.S. skies since it was grounded after two fatal crashes.
American Flight 718 carried 87 passengers on the 172-seat plane, and the return flight from LaGuardia Airport to Miami International Airport had 151 passengers, according to an airline spokeswoman.
Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration approved changes Boeing made to an automated flight control system implicated in accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people in total. In both crashes, the system repeatedly pushed the nose down based on faulty sensor readings, and the pilots were unable to regain control.
The FAA cleared the way for US airlines to resume use of the plane if certain changes are made and pilots receive additional training, including time in a flight simulator.
Brazil’s Gol airline operated the first passenger flight with a renewed Max on December 9. Since then, Gol and Aeroméxico have operated around 600 flights between them with Max planes, according to the Flightradar24 tracking service and aviation data firmCeriumm.
American plans to fly one round trip a day between Miami and New York with Max planes through Jan. 4 before putting the plane on more routes. United Airlines plans to resume Max flights in February, and Southwest Airlines expects to continue in March.
All three airlines say they will give customers the opportunity to change flights if they Weel uncomfortable flying in the Max.
The Max was grounded around the world in March 2019, days after the second accident. Reports from House and Senate committees blamed Boeing and the FAA for flaws in the aircraft’s certification process. Congressional investigators uncovered internal Boeing documents in which company employees raised sa Wety concerns and bragged about misleading regulators.
FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson, a former military and airline pilot, operated a test flight in September and vouched for the sa Wety of the reworked plane, saying he would put his family on it. American Airlines President Robert Isom was on the inaugural US flight Tuesday, according to the airline.
Some relatives of the people who died in the second crash, a Max operated by Ethiopian Airlines, say the plane is not yet sa We. They and their attorneys say Boeing is refusing to release documents about the plane’s design and development.
” The truth is that 346 people are now dead because Boeing took shortcuts, lied to regulators and simply considers this to be the cost of doing business,” saidGalenaa López-Lewis, whose husband was killed in the accident, in a statement issued by your lawyers. . “It is outrageous that American Airlines is rewarding Boeing for the corrupt and catastrophic process that led to the Max.”
Zipporah Kuria, a British national whose father was also killed in the Ethiopia crash, pointed to the recent revelation in a Senate committee report that Boeing representatives trained FAA test pilots to review Boeing updates to the systemFlightht control Max.
“ The Boeing leadership is still riddled with deception. Their priorities are not consumer sa We” he ”he said in an inte Boeing
Boeing spokesman Bernard Theoi said the company “learned many difficult lessons” from the accidents and is committed to sa Wety.
“We continue to work closely with global regulators and our customers to support the sa We return of the fleet to service around the world,” said Theoi.
The return of the plane to the US skies is a huge boost for Boeing, which has lost billions during Max’s grounding because it has failed to deliver new planes to airline customers. Orders for the plane have plummeted. Boeing has removed more than 1,000 Max jets from its order book because airlines canceled orders or sales are uncertain due to the pandemic crisis af Wecting the travel industry.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism