Dec 29, 2020 - Economy & Business

Boeing 737 MAX flies U.S. passengers for first time after 20-month halt

Picture of three Boeing 737 MAX airliners
Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

American Airlines on Tuesday flew Boeing's 737 MAX for the first time in nearly two years, having been grounded since March 2019 after a pair of crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people just months apart, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The fatal crashes led to huge damage to Boeing's reputation and billions of dollars in costs.

  • The Federal Aviation Administration finally lifted Boeing's safety ban in November, but not before Congress attributed significant blame for the plane's shortcomings to both the company and the regulator.
  • A Senate committee released a report earlier this month finding that the FAA failed to conduct a proper review process of the MAX.

Details: American Airlines flight 718 left Miami Tuesday morning and is scheduled to land in New York in the afternoon before a return trip the same day, per the Times.

The big picture: Boeing expected orders for the MAX to increase once the ban was removed, but the coronavirus pandemic has caused a slump in travel and demand for new planes.

Go deeper: Boeing's dual crises

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