Having already announced their plans to fly the MAX before the end of 2020, American Airlines explains how it will showcase the jet to employees. The airline has a series of initiatives, leading up to the aircraft’s reintroduction.
As we already saw some weeks ago, American Airlines will do a limited number of flights with the 737 MAX leading up to the New Year. The flights will only last for about a week or so. These first MAX aircraft will fly passengers from American Airlines’ Miami base.
These flights will follow other initiatives. The airline will park MAX aircraft at a number of popular airports, where people can visit them. More crucially, American Airlines pilots and cabin crew will be on hand to talk to the public. The airline feels that the pilots and crew that will fly the jets are the best people to reassure the public that it is safe.
And now the news is that in addition to this, the airline will use these jets to offer ‘flights to nowhere’ to its employees. The flights will take place from DFW, LaGuardia and Miami. This also gives the public an idea about where to look for these jets, if they wish to talk about them with their future crews. American Airlines wants to put the public at ease with the MAX, and reassure its own employees about it.
The MAX Returns To The Airlines, From The American Deserts
Meanwhile, Boeing employees are hard at work, working on returning the aircraft into service. 240 MAX aircraft belonging to American Airlines, Southwest, Boeing and others, are in Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake. The Washington airport charges Boeing $51,000 per plane, per month.
The necessary work to return the aircraft to service is time-consuming. But Boeing employ a lot of people, in three shifts, to keep the MAX moving. Separating the wiring bundles alone takes a lot of man-hours, but there are enough men and women to do it swiftly. Before that, mechanics and engineers need to ‘wake-up’ the sleeping jets. That alone would take 16 days in total per aircraft. But these mechanics have a head-start.
In anticipation of FAA’s ungrounding of the MAX, a lot of the necessary work to ‘refresh’ the stored jets was already completed. Then engineers connected small generators to the aircraft, powering their systems at set intervals. They were running their engines and systems, until the FAA lifted the ban and they could make their way to the hangars. This way, American Airlines and others can get some of these MAX jets ready a bit earlier.
It will still take many months for all 450 aircraft in Boeing’s hands plus the 387 others in the hands of airlines, to complete the necessary upgrades. And then there’s the small matter of the FAA inspecting each jet in turn. American Airlines will only need a handful, to complete its festive season MAX flights, though. It remains for us to see how the public welcomes the jets.