Boeing 737 Max Returns To Skies With American Airlines, 2 Years After Deadly Crashes

American Airlines Group Inc. AAL is using Boeing Co.’s BA 737 Max, the plane that was grounded two years ago following two mass fatality crashes, for a flight from Miami to New York on Tuesday.

What Happened: The flight, which departed at 10:32 a.m. and lands at 1:30 p.m., will be full of passengers, including American Airlines President Robert Isom.

Boeing and American Airlines plan to roll the 737 Max back into service, starting with the round-trip flights between Miami and New York.

American’s plan is to gradually reintroduce this aircraft, notifying passengers if they are on a Max and giving them the option to switch to a different flight.

David Seymour, the COO of American Airlines, recently said pilots and flight attendants have confidence in the plane,

“We would have never brought the aircraft back if they were not comfortable.”

Why It's Important: After a series of hardware, software and training changes for the jet, the Federal Aviation Administration lifted a ban on the 737 Max last month.

Boeing also has updated its new pilot flight manuals, which had previously excluded crucial information regarding the plane's flight-control system.

This is two years after the two crashes that occurred less than five months apart from each other, taking 346 lives. The first was on Oct. 29, 2018 in Indonesia, with the second crash occurring only four months and 10 days later in Ethiopia. 

Investigators put a majority of the blame on the Max's MCAS flight control system, which inadvertently pushed the planes into fatal nosedives.

During the grounding of the 737 Max, Boeing engineers and regulators worked to fix the system, adding multiple safeguards that is said prevent MCAS from overpowering the human pilots.

What's Next: United Airlines Holdings Inc. UAL said it plans to roll the 737 Max back into its hubs in Denver and Houston on Feb. 11, and Southwest Airlines Co. LUV announced it will bring the Max back in March. 

AAL, BA Price Action: American Airlines shares were down 0.1% at $16.04 at last check Tuesday, while Boeing shares were up 0.7% at $217.61.

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