First U.S. Boeing 737 Max Flight in Nearly Two Years Takes Off After FAA Lifts Safety Ban

Boeing 737 Max for American Airlines

For the first time in nearly two years, Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft carried passengers on a commercial flight in the U.S.

The American Airlines flight took off on Tuesday from Miami International Airport and landed at New York’s LaGuardia Airport about two and a half hours later, Reuters reported. The wife of the flight captain and the first officer’s mother were both onboard the almost 1,200-mile flight.

“This aircraft is ready to go,” American President Robert Isom said at a media briefing in Miami before the flight. The airline is confident in the safety of the 737 MAX, he added.

American also has an FAQ on their website specifically for any concerns regarding the Boeing 737 Max.

The flight also comes after a successful test flight with media on board earlier this month.

Boeing’s 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 following the two fatal crashes that happened in a span of just five months. The safety ban was lifted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last month after Boeing agreed to software upgrades and new safeguards on a key flight control system linked to both crashes.

Flight control updates, maintenance work, fresh pilot training, and town hall meetings with flight crews were all conducted before Tuesday’s flight to brief everyone on the new changes and address any concerns. 

American Airlines is the third carrier globally to resume usage of the 737 MAX. Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and Grupo Aeromexico relaunched flights aboard this aircraft earlier in December. American currently has 31 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with plans to purchase more and slowly reintroduce the plane to its fleet. 

Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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