United Airlines has just announced that they plan to return the 737MAX to service on September 4, 2020. American Airlines has extended their cancellation to August 18, but may continue to keep their MAXs out of service afterwards.
The 737MAX has been out of service since March 2019, after investigations regarding the MCAS software which was believed to cause the crashes of Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air. Since then, countries forced airlines to ground the aircraft and substitute it with other planes in their fleet.
The 737MAX poses a big advantage over other 737 jets. First, the wingtip structure allows for decreased aerodynamic disturbance, ultimately maximizing lift and fuel efficiency. Second, the improved engine structure and casing design also works to decrease drag. The improved interior cabin also serves for better passenger comfort during flight.
An Air Canada 737 MAX 8 parked in San Francisco, California, two months before the grounding. Credit: TheExplorerBlog | Daniel Mena
After the groundings, airlines were forced to substitute the MAX for other aircraft. Due to high demand on the routes serviced with the MAX, airlines like United had to substitute them for aircraft as large as 777s. Airlines like Southwest - an airline that only owns 737s - were forced to substitute the MAX with an increased frequency of 737NG models.
Although the 737MAX is coming back into service, many consumers may be afraid of the product, due to the reputation given to it by mass media. Many passengers may continue to deem the aircraft unsafe, scaring them away, resulting in a loss of profit for the airline. What do you think will happen? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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