While the controversial Boeing 737 MAX has already resumed service in early December 2020, particularly in Brazil, a leading US airline has also relaunched the cursed plane. Absent since the beginning of 2019, the 737 Max has however made a backlash. Indeed, an incident, fortunately not serious, was noted.
Commercial return to the United States
On December 29, 2020, a Boeing 737 MAX carried passengers on behalf of the airline American Airlines. It was a domestic link between Miami and New York, carrying 172 passengers not to mention the flight crew. As explained Air Journal the day before takeoff, this is the very first flight of a boeing 737 max operated by a us company since early 2019. Remember that this model was the subject of a flight ban for almost two years. However, this was lifted by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in the United States in November 2020.
At the origin of this ban, two terrible crashes that caused nearly 350 victims in total. These were flights 610 Lion Air and 302 Ethiopian Airlines on October 29, 2018 and March 10, 2019. After these accidents, Boeing entered the most important crisis in its history, against the backdrop of a health crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic SARS-CoV-2.
A very slow return of confidence
The return of the 737 MAX took place in Brazil in early December 2020. Gol Airlines operated an internal flight between the cities of São Paulo and Porto Alegre. Before that, a few test flights took place to prepare the aircraft. Other demonstration flights were intended to reassure consumers who were rather suspicious of this model. Nonetheless, this boost in confidence should come very slowly. Indeed, a new incident was deplored a few weeks after the return to service of the 737 MAX.
December 25, 2020, an Air Canada 737 MAX was on a test flight between Marana (Arizona, United States) and Montreal (Canada). However, the flight was rerouted and then forced to land in Tucson, Arizona. Fortunately, more fear than harm for the three crew members on board. The reason for the incident? A hydraulic pressure drop in the left reactor. Nonetheless, this was not an issue among those that prompted aviation authorities to ban the 737 MAX in 2019.
If in the United States, the FAA authorized the commercial return of the 737 MAX, this is not not yet the case in Canada. The government of this country has approved Boeing’s modifications to the aircraft but seems to want to wait before making its final decision. In Europe, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will not take a decision until mid-January. The return of the 737 MAX will therefore perhaps be confirmed on the continent. If so, the agency has already said he wants to follow the plane closely and so prevent early any future problems.