American Airlines on Tuesday resumed flight service with the Boeing 737 MAX becoming the first United States airline to operate the type since the Federal Aviation Administration recertified the aircraft last month.
American Airlines flight 718, registered as N314RH, departed Miami at 10:40 a.m. EST becoming the first commercial 737 MAX flight in the United States since the recertification.
American Airlines plans to fly the Max from Miami to New York and back through January 4 before adding more routes.
“We’ve been engaged with the FAA, with Boeing, with everybody that’s associated with the aircraft to ensure that safety is held at the highest level,” Robert Isom, president of American Airlines, told reporters on Tuesday. “This aircraft has been checked out from top to bottom.”
Since the FAA ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX, Brazilian carrier GOL resumed service with the aircraft type followed by Aeromexico. Panamanian carrier Copa Airlines is set to be the first to resume international MAX flights on January 4th.
In September, an investigative report from the House of Representatives placed the blame for the catastrophic accidents squarely on Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration, citing a “horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA.”
The 737 MAX was grounded following two deadly crashes just months apart which claimed the lives of 346 people.
Passengers on all of American’s Max flights will be given advance warning, with the option to rebook, the airline said.
“Our promise to any customer that flies on us is that if you get on the 737 Max and you don’t want to fly, we’re going to allow you to change,” David Seymour, chief operating officer of American Airlines, said.
United Airlines plans to reintroduce the Max starting Feb. 11, and Southwest, the largest operator of 737 Max jets, is scheduled to start using the jet again “no sooner than the second quarter of 2021,” according to a notice on its website.
American Airlines has ordered 76 Max jets to add to its current fleet of 24 737 Max aircraft.
Simple Flying | NBC News