Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Seven more airlines seek 737 Max compensation

Boeing 737 MAX Judgement The 737 MAX is going up against representatives from 33 different countries today
Patty Aguilar | 24 May, 2019, 23:26

"And when we're convinced that the 737 Max is safe to fly again, we will lift the prohibition order".

Elwell declined to answer questions about the private ICAO briefing.

While sources told Reuters that the ungrounding is expected to happen in June, there's reportedly no firm timetable.

Regaining public trust will take time, according to opinion polls conducted by Southwest showing that many passengers are not yet ready to get back aboard a 737 MAX jet.

"The public can trust that the FAA will not let the 737 Max fly again in the US until it is safe to do so", Elwell said, adding, "I'm not going down the timetable road". Elwell said the FAA has not made a final decision, and that during Thursday's meeting no other country said it would insist on simulator training.

Boeing shares were down 1.7 percent at $346.85 at midday on Thursday.

On another front, the United States consumer protection activist and author, Ralph Nader, whose grand niece died in the Ethiopian Airlines March 10 crash, has called for a recall of all 737 MAX jets.

All 371 Boeing 737 Max airliners in service around the world have been grounded since March 13 following the crashes of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 and Lion Air Flight JT610.

Boeing said last week it had completed an update to the software, known as MCAS, which would stop erroneous data from triggering an anti-stall system that automatically turned down the noses of the two planes that crashed, despite pilot efforts to prevent it from doing so.

Boeing didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Even after the FAA lifts its ban on 737 MAX flights, airlines will have to spend about 100 and 150 hours getting each aircraft ready to fly again after being put in storage, plus time for training pilots on the new software, officials from the three USA airlines that operate the 737 MAX told Reuters.

Airlines attending that meeting, including American Airlines, United and Continental have so far remained tight-lipped on what was discussed.

United Airlines has given Boeing and its troubled 737 Max aircraft a much needed vote of confidence.

Elwell would not put a timetable on getting the planes back into service, although major USA carriers are hopeful for an August return.

Airlines are making plans for a campaign to reassure nervous customers.

"We are going through an incredibly intensive and robust process to make the safety case to unground the Max", acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell told reporters when the closed-door meeting was over.

Elwell said the return of the 737 MAX would be determined by what the FAA found in its analysis of Boeing's submission, adding that it was "pretty confident that the application is in good shape".

If the FAA hits its target of approving the 737 MAX to fly by the end of June, airlines may still have to adjust their schedules for the busy summer travel season.

Together with Southwest Airlines, China Southern shares the title of the biggest current MAX (non-) operator. About half said they would pick a non-Max flight if given the choice.

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