Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump thinks Boeing should 'rebrand' 737 MAX plane

Trump thinks Boeing should 'rebrand' 737 MAX plane

Airlines and countries around the world have grounded the Boeing 737 Max or banned it from airspace after an Ethiopian Airlines crash last month.

On Thursday, Southwest airlines announced the decision to extend its cancellation of Boeing 737 Max aircraft through August 5.

In a letter to employees and customers on Sunday, American Airlines' top executives said they believed the MAX would be recertified "soon" but wanted to provide their customers reliability and confidence during "the busiest travel period of the year". In early April, the company took the extraordinary step of cutting its 737 Max production rate from 52 per month to 42.

Southwest's decision will lead to 160 cancellations of some 4,200 daily flights between June 8 and August 5, while American's removal through August 19 means about 115 daily cancellations, or 1.5 percent of its summer flying schedule each day.

Senior officials at American Airlines said they were "confident" that the Boeing upgrade would be approved by USA aviation regulators before 19 August, despite its decision to ground its fleet of 24 planes until then.

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They added that the airline has been in close contact with the FAA, the Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board and worldwide regulators and are "pleased with the progress so far".

Boeing is developing new software for the jet's anti-stall system, which has come under scrutiny since the crashes. Preliminary investigations have pointed to problems with an anti-stall feature.

Parker and Isom said they are "confident" in Boeing's impending software updates and new training proposals, and remain in continuous contact with regulatory authorities over the MAX recertification process. The software fix is to include changes to prevent the system from overreacting to bad data, a new set of cockpit alerts created to make pilots aware of potentially risky situations, and a new pilot training course.

American has 24 MAX jets and had previously planned to cancel MAX flights through early June.

Initial reports in the wake of the FAA's decision to ground the Boeing 737 MAX pointed towards a quick software fix that could have allowed the aircraft to return to service in a matter of weeks.

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