American Airlines Says It Expects to Start Flying Troubled Boeing 737 Max Again Next Year

Photo: Elaine Thompson (AP)

American Airlines said on Wednesday that it expects its fleet of Boeing 737 Max jets to return to passenger service later than expected on Jan. 16, 2020, after the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation sign off on revisions intended to remedy flaws that led to the deaths of 346 people in two crashes.

The delay, more than a month beyond American Airlines’ original projections, makes American the last airline to return the craft to service. Of course, all may not go as planned. The entire 737 Max line has been grounded worldwide since March. In the interim, allegations that manufacturer Boeing rushed the plane out the door with a faulty design (particularly its anti-stalling Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, MCAS), that it failed to implement stronger safety systems, that the FAA failed to properly inspect it have multiplied. Boeing insists it has resolved those issues with extensive retrofitting. United Airlines has the 737 Max removed from its flight schedule until Dec. 19, 2019, while Southwest Airlines has it removed until Jan. 5, 2020, according to the Washington Post.