Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump urges Boeing to fix, ‘rebrand’ grounded 737 Max planes

Trump urges Boeing to fix, ‘rebrand’ grounded 737 Max planes

The airline has grounded 34 of the jets.

The plane's grounding has also threatened the USA summer travel season, with some airlines removing the 737 from their schedules through August and canceling a number of scheduled flights.

Federal regulators on Friday briefed pilots and USA airlines on progress in restoring Boeing's grounded 737 Max to flight. "We have been in continuous contact with the FAA, Department of Transportation, National Transportation Safety Board, other regulatory authorities and are pleased with the progress so far".

"We remain confident that the impending software updates, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing for the MAX, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon".

American explained on its website that not all flights previously scheduled on a MAX would be cancelled, because the airline planned to use other aircraft for some flights. "That is why if we have to extend cancellations based on aircraft availability we will do so as far in advance as possible".

Airlines and countries around the world grounded the Boeing 737 Max jets or banned them from their airspace following the crashes.

Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg has apologised on behalf of Boeing for lives lost in two recent accidents and promised that it would address the risk that flight software meant to prevent the plane stalling could be activated by wrong data. In the previous weeks, Boeing pilots have flown 96 test flights, totalling 160 hours with the new software and will operate more flights in the coming weeks to prove that the software fix works.

The report said it was unclear when the aircraft will return, as Boeing has slowed production and stopped deliveries as it works on a software fix. A Boeing executive speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly said late last month that the training component of that update had been "provisionally approved" by regulators.

The grounding of the 737 MAX has caused Southwest to cancel thousands of flights in their first quarter. The company should fix its troubled 737 MAX and choose a new name following the Ethiopian Air Lines and Lion Air Crashes.

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