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American Airlines delays 737 MAX pilot training schedule

written by Hannah Dowling | October 8, 2020
A file image of a American Airlines Boeing 737-800. (Rob Finlayson)
A file image of an American Airlines Boeing 737-800. (Rob Finlayson)

American Airlines has announced it intends to delay plans to begin Boeing 737 MAX pilot training, which had been previously scheduled to begin in November.

The Allied Pilots Association has confirmed that ongoing recertification efforts have impacted the airline’s training schedule timeline, as the 737 MAX still faces a number of steps before it is officially recertified and the grounding order is lifted.

American Airlines announced just last month that it would be scheduling its 737 MAX pilot training for November, however did say at that time that training plans may be delayed or cancelled if the aircraft is yet to receive all the necessary regulatory approvals at that time.

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“We have not made any definitive plans regarding the 737 MAX as the return to service timeline remains fluid,” an American Airlines spokeswoman said. 

“That’s why we recently adjusted the pilot training scheduling process and will continue to do so depending on when the MAX is recertified.”

The spokeswoman said that the American remains in communication with both the FAA and Boeing regarding the ongoing recertification process, and is also working in collaboration with the pilots union.

Meanwhile, Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, said that attempting to begin MAX training for pilots in November, the same month the aircraft is expected to be recertified in both the US and Europe, seemed “a bit premature”.

When training does begin for pilots, American said it will consist of a distance learning module that will last around one hour 40 minutes, as well as a simulator session entailing a one-hour brief and a two-hour simulator event.

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American had initially planned to release the distance learning module by 28 October and train about 1,700 pilots in November, with an expectation to complete all training by the end of January 2021.

No updated timeline for the new training schedule has been announced.

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