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American flies first 737 MAX since grounding

written by Adam Thorn | January 4, 2021

A file image of American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 N314RH. (Nathan Coats/Commons Wikimedia)
An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 (Nathan Coats/Commons Wikimedia)

American Airlines operated its first commercial 737 MAX flight on 29 December 2020 – nearly two years after the aircraft was grounded.

The MAX 8, N314RH msn 44449, departed Miami at 10:40am on 29 December 2020 as flight AA718 and landed later that day in New York.

The airline has since flown the plane back and forth between the two destinations twice since.

“We’ve been engaged with the FAA, with Boeing, with everybody that’s associated with the aircraft to ensure that safety is held at the highest level,” Robert Isom, president of American Airlines, told reporters. “This aircraft has been checked out from top to bottom.”

American Airlines is the third carrier globally to resume flights on the jets after Brazil’s Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and Aeromexico.

The Federal Aviation Administration lifted its grounding order for the aircraft in November last year. Boeing has implemented several updates to the plane, particularly to the flight control system linked to the crashes. And officials have stressed the aircraft is safe to fly.

The Max was grounded worldwide in March of 2019 after 346 people were killed in two crashes, one in Indonesia and the other in Ethiopia.


Last month, World of Aviation reported how Alaska Airlines came to an agreement with Boeing to restructure its order to now receive a total of 68 Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft with options for an additional 52 planes.

This restructured agreement with Boeing incorporates Alaska’s announcement to lease 13 737-9 aircraft.

Alaska is scheduled to receive 13 planes in 2021; 30 in 2022; 13 in 2023; and 12 in 2024. Alaska’s 52 aircraft options are for deliveries between 2023 to 2026.

The agreement with Boeing also includes mechanisms to adjust the timing of deliveries to meet economic conditions, giving the airline “substantial flexibility” to manage its fleet in step with network demand.

Additional reporting by airlinerwatch.com


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