American Airlines to operate employee-only flights on 737 MAX

Shutterstock / Daniel J. Macy

In preparation for the return to service of Boeing 737 MAX, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) plans to offer five flights to nowhere exclusively for employees. 

American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), which has a fleet of 24 Boeing 737 MAXs, is expected to be the first airline to fly the jet after its ungrounding. The airline has already scheduled regular flights from Miami and New York between December 29, 2020, and January 4, 2021. 

In order to make customers more comfortable flying on board the 737 MAX, the company wants to ensure its employees first. American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) announced plans to operate five flights out of Dallas/Fort Worth on December 3, Miami on December 8 and 17, and New York LaGuardia on December 9 and 15, 2020. Miami and New York will be the first routes after the reintroduction of the MAX, while Dallas/Fort Worth is the company’s base. 

The flights are scheduled to last about an hour and are reserved for the employees of American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) or its wholly owned subsidiaries. In total, up to 860 employees will be able to take these flights, as the company’s 737 MAXs have 172 seats each. 

“We know that restoring our customers’ confidence in the 737 MAX starts with ensuring our own team members are comfortable. That’s why, leading up to the aircraft’s return to scheduled service Dec. 29, we’ll operate five 737 MAX flights, exclusively for team members,” the company announced in a memo to employees. 

American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) has previously announced plans to offer customers a tour of the aircraft before the beginning of regular flights. The tours would happen in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, LaGuardia and Miami, with the participation of pilots and mechanics. 

On November 18, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX and allowed it to enter commercial service again after it was taken out of service in March 2019. The aircraft was grounded after two fatal crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019. Boeing has already delivered 387 jets to airlines around the world with another 395 in line.

American Airlines Group, the holding company of American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), announced a $2.4 billion loss in Q3 2020, compared to a $425 million profit it made in 2019.


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