IATA anxious about regulator discrepancies over Boeing 737 MAX

Clay Curtis
September 4, 2019

The announcement on Sunday by the world's largest airline by fleet-size signaled trouble for holiday travelers, since the cancellations will likely impact the Thanksgiving Day weekend, which is the busiest.

Ethiopian Federal policemen stand at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 11, 2019.

Maxed Out Boeing took the 737 Max out of the air, following two horrific crashes that killed more than 400 people, and has reportedly considered temporarily halting production of the model. The crashes are believed to have been caused by an autopilot system that turned on without the knowledge of the pilots.

It also stated that it gave Boeing a deposit of United States $35 million (€31.5 million) to secure the order, which was placed prior to the grounding of the MAX model, and is now demanding that this amount to be returned with interest. The changes to the software have to be vetted by the Federal Aviation Administration before Boeing can again meet with the regulators and undergo the required flight and simulator tests. They want to do everything possible to avoid another tragedy. Only time will tell if that is the case.

If no more cancellations are announced, United may have its affected planes back in the air during the week before Christmas - another heavy travel period which also can be impacted by bad weather that can snarl airline operations. "This will be the first of many to come", Steven Marks of the Miami aviation law firm Podhurst Orseck said.

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The head of the International Air Transport Association said he is concerned that the process to return the Boeing 737 MAX to service will be complicated by multiple aviation authorities' desire to conduct their own analysis on the fixes and not simply accept the FAA's recommendations before returning the jet to revenue flying.

Passengers who don't wish to rebook can request a refund, the airline said.

Meanwhile, aircraft leasing company Avia Capital Services is suing Boeing, claiming the 737 Max planes "now have "no value" due to their safety record and fears among passengers", a lawyer representing the company tells Business Insider's Sinéad Baker.

American had previously planned to resume operating its fleet of 24 Max 8s for 140 daily flights by Thanksgiving.

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