I’m here at United Airlines Media Day in Chicago and United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said that relying on commitments from Boeing and the FAA that the 737 MAX is “is not going to be enough.”
After noting that FAA re-certification is required he said “we’ll wait to see how the other ones go as well.”
That’s the first time I’ve heard a US airline chief suggest U.S. regulatory approval is insufficient to fly the MAX. It’s certainly the case that the FAA has been working to get other world regulators to go along with approval at the same time, although at this point it looks as though they won’t get all regulators to allow the 737 MAX back into the air simultaneously.
United is planning its own efforts around relaunch of the MAX, and plans to give customers flexibility to rebook to avoid the plane. Other airlines have told me they have similar plans to ensure customers aren’t being surprised to find themselves on the plane.