It flies again

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Brazil, Canada, the USA and, as of this morning, the EU have decided that it is safe again to fly on the Boeing 737 Max getting on for nearly two years after it was grounded.

737-MAX 8 Artwork. Image © Boeing

That will be of considerable relief to airlines like Ryanair and TUI, who heavily rely on the plane for their services but will it passengers feel as confident as the regulators?

In the US there have been stories about people refusing to fly on this plane and others querying what plane they are flying on. Will the same happen here?

If you do refuse to fly then you have no comeback as I understand it.  You will lose the monies you have paid so if you are nervous you need to check what plane will be used for your flight before you book. Even then a plane change could occur at the last minute.

But what is the attitude of the UK and the regulator here, the Civil Aviation Authority?

It can either agree with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which is the regulator for the EU or it can go its own way.

Both the Canadians and EASA have taken slightly different views on re-certifying the plane from the Americas and this where it becomes irritating for the airlines. Being international in scope they have to satisfy two masters, those at the destination at those at departure. Altering the certification from one to another is a hindrance they could do without so airlines will be hopeful that the CAA interpretation is as similar as doesn’t matter.

At the moment, there is hardly an opportunity to fly anywhere so few people will be considering which airline or plane type they might use.

But later in the year when hopefully things are nearing normality, it will be interesting to see if the Being 737 MAX still makes passengers wary.

At least one person still has doubts as to the safety of the plane. Ed Pierson, a former Boeing employee who also testified at the congressional enquiry, published a fourteen page summary of his thinking last week. He referred to “a dangerously unstable production environment” and ended his summary with “We can either investigate these production problems and fix them, or we can wait for another disaster.”

UPDATE: 28 Jan. 2021 – The CAA has certified the 737-MAX to fly againand is discussing with TUI (which has six of this type) on pilot training and software modifications.

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