Boeing Says The 737 MAX Won’t Be Re-Certified Until Summer. American Says It Will Fly June 5. How Can That Be?

Boeing projected recently that re-certifying the 737 MAX will take until summer. Once it gets government approvals airlines still have to bring planes out of storage and prepare them for service, and they have to train pilots on new procedures – which will take time in part because of a limited number of available simulators.

And yet American Airlines and other carriers have the plane scheduled back into service in June. CEO Doug Parker updated employees on progress bringing the 737 MAX back into service during last week’s Crew News monthly question and answer session.

  • The Joint Operation Evaluation Board (JOEB) will test training scenarios sometime from early March to early April.

  • Then they’ll recommend a training program a couple of weeks after that. Re-certification could then come quickly.

American expects to take 30 days getting up and running. While American has only 1 Boeing 737 MAX simulator, and live simulator training will be required, they expect to have access to three. The second is Boeing’s and the third is expected to be CAE‘s.

The airline was already working through details of pulling planes out of storage when Boeing said it would be mid-year before the plane was re-certified. Parker reports that the Director of the FAA called each airline saying he wasn’t sure where Boeing’s mid-year date came from, and that they think it can be earlier.

While they may have to push out the MAX’s return to service past June 5 – and certainly would if Boeing’s projected re-certification date were true, and still might based on the JOEB process – this is why they haven’t changed their June 5 date yet.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. AA also texted me at 7:05pm saying my 5:50pm flight was delayed until 6:45pm.

    It’s just a different type of rolling delay.

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