Boeing 737 Max Resumes Flying U.S. Passengers After 2-Year Halt – The New York Times

American plans to use the Max for daily flights between Miami International Airport and La Guardia Airport through Monday. The airline plans to increase service throughout January, using the plane for as many as 36 flights out of Miami each day, according to a letter American executives sent to employees last month.

Like other airlines, American has said that it will allow passengers worried about flying on the Max to rebook their trip to avoid the plane. The airline’s approximately 2,600 Boeing 737 pilots will all be retrained to fly the Max, a process that involves classroom briefings and training in a simulator. In addition to F.A.A. oversight, each Max jet will be subject to internal inspection and a readiness flight before it carries passengers. Tuesday’s flight can seat 172 people, 16 in business class and the rest in economy.

United Airlines said it expects to start flying the Max on Feb. 11, out of 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.

Alaska Airlines is scheduled to use the plane for some West Coast flights starting on March 1. Southwest Airlines, a major Boeing client that operates an all-737 fleet, has said it does not expect to fly the plane until the second quarter. Delta Air Lines does not use the plane.

It will be important to public perception of both Boeing and the Max that the first few months of flights be free of any major problems. Last week, Air Canada was forced to divert a Max plane being moved from Marana, Ariz., to Montreal because of engine trouble. The plane, which had only three pilots on board, landed without incident in Tucson, Ariz., where it remains, the airline said on Monday.

While American will be the first U.S. airline to put the Max to use, Gol, a Brazilian company, became the first in the world to resume flying the plane for commercial service this month. Aeromexico has since started flying the Max, too.


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