At an employee question and answer forum this past week American Airlines CEO Doug Parker was asked about the timeline for bringing the Boeing 737 MAX back into service.
He said – as he’s offered before – that when American Airlines pilots fly it, the plane will be safe. And he noted British Airways parent IAG ordering the aircraft as a huge sign of confidence in the aircraft.
Parker believes it’s really just politics – and not safety – that is holding up flying the 737 MAX again,
What I understand is there is an absolute software fix that is this close to being certified but they’ve been saying that for awhile. I think as much as anything now it may be politics as much the true certification and kind of safety issue.
I don’t think the FAA wants to be alone in doing this and may want some other countries to come along. But there absolutely is a fix. We at American are selling tickets on 737s.. We’re selling it for September 4 we wouldn’t be selling it if we didn’t think it would be flying by then.
Of course American had taken the MAX out of the schedule into June, and into August, each time selling tickets for Boeing 737 MAX travel beyond those dates.
And since the airline needs to put together schedules that their employees will bid to fly in September in early July they may push out the scheduled return of the 737 MAX again soon so they don’t put out “bid schedules that don’t reflect the actual flying we’re going to do.”
As a result, Parker says, “If we’re not much more certain than we are today that..it’s going to be ready on September 4, you may see us push it back another month…sometime early- to mid-July.”