American plans to use the Max for daily flights between Miami International Airport and La Guardia Airport through Monday. The airline plans to increase service in January and use the plane for up to 36 flights a day from Miami. This emerges from a letter that American executives sent to employees last month.
Like other airlines, American Airlines has announced that passengers worried about the Max can rebook their trip to avoid the plane. The airline’s 2,600 Boeing 737 pilots will all be retrained to fly the Max. This process includes briefings in the classroom and training in a simulator. In addition to FAA oversight, every Max-Jet undergoes an internal inspection and readiness flight before it carries passengers. Tuesday’s flight has room for 172 people, 16 in business class and the rest in economy.
United Airlines expects the Max to fly from Denver and Houston on February 11th. According to Cirium, an airline company, the airline has already scheduled flights from Houston to Los Angeles, Orlando, San Diego and Tampa, and between Los Angeles and Orlando.
Alaska Airlines is expected to start using the aircraft for some flights on the west coast starting March 1st. Southwest Airlines, a major Boeing customer that operates an All-737 fleet, has announced that it will not fly the aircraft until the second quarter. Delta Air Lines does not use the aircraft.
For the public perception of Boeing and Max it will be important that the first few months of flight are free of major problems. Last week, Air Canada was forced to divert a Max plane that was relocated from Marana, Arizona to Montreal because of an engine failure. The plane, which only had three pilots on board, landed without incident in Tucson, Arizona, where it will remain, the airline said on Monday.
While American will be the first US airline to use the Max, Gol, a Brazilian company, was the first in the world to resume flight for commercial service this month. Since then, Aeromexico has also been flying the Max.