United States: Boeing 737 MAX returns to the sky after 20 months on the ground

United States: Boeing 737 MAX returns to the sky after 20 months on the ground

The plane took off on Tuesday. This is his first flight since March 2019 and two fatal accidents that had resulted in his immobilization.

The Boeing 737 MAX, under the colors of American Airlines, at Miami airport, Florida (United States), December 29, 2020 (JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

The Boeing 737 MAX resumed service on Tuesday, December 29 in the United States, under the colors of American Airlines, its first flight since March 2019 and two fatal accidents which had resulted in the grounding of this flagship aircraft.

The plane took off from Miami shortly after 10:40 am, with a hundred passengers on board, to reach New York.

“This plane is the safest”

The red carpet was rolled out at Miami airport, where screens had displayed the return to the American sky of the 737 MAX, whose flight ban was lifted in mid-November. This aircraft is recognizable by its pointed wings and allows greater fuel savings than its predecessor, the 737 NG.

The aircraft must then return to Miami, with almost all of its 172 seats occupied, an American Airlines spokeswoman told AFP. The same rotation will be carried out on Wednesday December 30 and Thursday December 31. The 737 MAX “Is an aircraft that has been scrutinized more than any other, never before. We are convinced that this plane is the safest in the sky ”, American Airlines No.2 Robert Isom told Miami airport.

Unprecedented crisis

This first commercial flight in the United States, country of Boeing, marks a brightening in the sky of the aircraft manufacturer. He is indeed facing an unprecedented crisis since this plane, which was his cash cow, was grounded after two accidents which had left 346 dead: Lion Air in October 2018 (189 dead) and Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019 (157 dead).

Doubts about the aircraft’s reliability had led many airlines around the world to cancel their orders. Then the Covid-19 crisis, which heavily penalizes the aviation sector, hit the nail on the head.