The never-ending saga of Boeing’s 737 MAX has a new chapter. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given the aircraft manufacturer approval for an electrical fix and notified Southwest Airlines, American, United, and more than a dozen small international airlines that they can return more than 60 MAX jets to service.
Boeing alerted the FAA in early April that it was recommending that operators of certain Boeing 737 MAX airplanes temporarily ground the planes to address a manufacturing issue that could impact a backup power control unit.
“After gaining final approvals from the FAA, we have issued service bulletins for the affected fleet,” Boeing told Reuters. “We are also completing the work as we prepare to resume deliveries.”
The news couldn’t come at a better time. With airlines trying to serve the pent-up demand of vaccinated wanderlusters and a beckoning summer travel season, they could use all the available planes they can get.
A pretty straightforward fix
Unlike Boeing’s past problems with the MAX, this one was pretty easy. In discussions with lawmakers, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said that the electrical issue called for a “pretty straightforward fix.”
Dickson also gave Boeing — and the flying public — a shot of confidence by saying that he was convinced that the MAX models are safe, despite the aircraft’s past mechanical issues and fatal crashes.
Boeing hopes its MAX problems are finally behind it. The financial impact of the 737 MAX’s grounding created at least $18 billion in losses.