Alaska Airlines, United Next to Relaunch Boeing 737 Max

By Kurt Stolz on 14 January 2021
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United Airlines and Alaska Airlines will be the next two U.S. carriers to return the beleaguered Boeing 737 Max aircraft to the skies.

Regulators grounded the jet two years ago in the aftermath of two fatal hull losses, an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March 2019 and the 2018 Lion Air crash.

American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, restarted 737 Max flights at the end of December.

United, the sole operator of the 737-9 Max in the United States, plans to restart 737 Max flights on February 11. The planes will be based on Denver and Houston and the inaugural flight will operate from Denver to Houston.

The Chicago-based airline will operate roughly 32 daily departures on a variety of routes using the Max in February and that number is slated to increase in March.

Meanwhile, Alaska will return the 737 Max to its active fleet on March 1.  Initial routes will include Seattle-Los Angeles, Seattle-San Diego, and Los Angeles-Portland.

Southwest Airlines hasn’t yet said exactly when it will return the 737 Max to service but it did recently say it will likely be in March. Previously, the airline’s CEO, Gary Kelly, had said its return would “likely take place no sooner than the second quarter of 2021.”

Elsewhere in North America, Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet plans a January 21 restart date, and Air Canada, which recently announced an additional 25% capacity cutback for January, has not formalize date yet.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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