Boeing 737 MAX makes first US commercial flight after a 20-month safety ban

Boeing 737 MAX makes first US commercial flight after a 20-month safety ban


Boeing’s 737 MAX resumed passenger flights in the United States for the first time on Tuesday after a 20-month safety ban was lifted last month.

American Airlines Flight 718 departed Miami around 10:4am bound for New York’s LaGuardia Airport and is scheduled to land around 13:08pm, according to several flight-tracing websites.

American Airlines and planemaker Boeing have sought to reassure the public over the plane’s safety after it was cleared by US regulators in November to resume flights.

Tuesday morning’s American Airlines flight has about 100 passengers aboard, according to an airline spokeswoman. The airline will give customers the chance to change flights if they don’t want to fly on the MAX.

Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration approved changes that Boeing made to an automated flight-control system implicated in crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people in total.

In both crashes, the system pushed the nose down repeatedly based on faulty sensor readings, and pilots were unable to regain control.

Regulators in Europe and Brazil have also cleared the way for airlines to resume using the plane if they make certain changes and provide additional training for pilots.

The first passenger flight with a revamped MAX took place this month in Brazil. Brazil’s Gol Airlines and Aeromexico have operated dozens of MAX flights.

The MAX was grounded worldwide in March 2019, days after the second crash. Reports by House and Senate committees faulted Boeing and the FAA for failures in the process of certifying the plane.

FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson, a former military and airline pilot, operated a test flight in September and vouched for the plane’s safety, saying he would put his family on it.

American plans to make one round trip a day between Miami and New York with the planes through Jan. 4 before putting the MAX on more routes.