18/10/2021

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Boeing 737 MAX makes first commercial flight in 2 years

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A Boeing 737 MAX commercial flight took off in Miami, United States on Tuesday, a first in two years since the aircraft was grounded worldwide.

The American Airlines flight 718 departed for New York’s La Guardia airport around 15:44 GMT. The 737 Max was banned from the skies after a March 2019 crash in Ethiopia, killing 346 people shortly after take-off. Prior to the incident, a similar crash of the jet occurred in Indonesia in 2018, slaying all 189 people on board.

Airlines then canceled numerous orders for the aircraft, but nearing a return to service Boeing reported new orders in recent weeks.

“I think that what has happened with the MAX has heightened the intensity, for which we all have to be mindful, of safety and security. So from a safety perspective, I can tell you that (at) American, we don’t take delivery of a plane without putting it through its paces, that’s never changed but it’s only heightened our intensity of making sure that what we’re getting is as safe as possible”, American Airlines president, Robert Isom said.

The aircraft manufacturer has worked with regulators to address technical issues and improve pilot training on the jet. This has led countries to allow the MAX to return to service, starting with a domestic flight by Brazilian budget carrier Gol earlier this month.

The first of the US carriers to return the plane to service, American flight 718 that will take about 100 passengers from Miami to New York’s La Guardia airport, departing at 15:32 GMT and is due to land around 17:30 GMT, the airline told AFP in an email on Tuesday.

The return flight, with nearly all the 172 seats sold, is scheduled to depart New York at 19:30 GMT, according to the American airline.