Boeing 737 MAX Cleared by the FAA to Return to Service

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it has approved the Boeing 737 MAX to fly again, bringing an end to a 20 month grounding that started in March 2019.

The jets won’t start flying right away as the flight software will need to be updated, pilots will need to undergo extra training, and international regulators will have to also approve the jets’ reintroduction (which is expected), but Boeing is hoping the announcement helps turn the page on a saga that included the two fatal crashes that killed 346 people, the resignation of its CEO, and a major criminal investigation.

Some airlines, including Southwest and United, both said that they expect to start flying the MAX jets in the first quarter of 2021. American Airlines, said they were planning a return to service for the jets by the end of 2020.

Rumors were sparked earlier this year that Boeing was looking to scrap the “MAX” name as part of a rebranding for the jets and airlines are steering away from using 737 MAX. American Airlines has notified ETC they will identify the 737 MAX as 7M8 on the availability display.