The 737 Max has been grounded around the world since March 2019 due to the safety issues discovered after two similar crashes killed over 300 people just five months apart (in October 2018 and in March 2019.) Now, the aircraft is slated to return to the skies this winter with American Airlines, pending FAA approval. The plane will fly one route between New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Miami International Airport from December 29 to January 4, with tickets available for booking since October 24.
Following the fatal crashes last year, officials found that a faulty sensor on the plane could trigger an onboard computer system to think the aircraft was ascending too steep, causing the software to push the plane’s nose downward and out of the pilot’s control. The issue has cost Boeing billions and dramatically reduced confidence in its aircraft.
That confidence is likely still wavering, even as American Airlines adds the plane back to its booking system. If the Max doesn’t earn recertification in time for the flights, American Airlines will change its plans accordingly.
After a test flight last month, Steve Dickson, the administrator of the FAA, told the Washington Post, “I liked what I saw. It responded well.”
The EASA, the European Union’s air regulator, already recertified the plane on October 16, though it required Boeing to install additional software on future models to ensure maximum safety.