On December 29, 2020, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) is set to operate a scheduled round-trip from Miami International Airport (MIA) to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA). The first flight AA718 is scheduled to depart from Miami at 10:32am and land in New York at 1:30pm, according to FlightRadar data. Both legs of the trip will be operated by the recently-ungrounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
However, the Reuters/Ipsos poll, released on December 28, 2020, showed that travelers were still cautious about flying on the Boeing 737 MAX. The percentage of adults familiar with the two fatal crashes of the type decreased from 50% in a previous poll to 39% now. Nevertheless, 57% of respondents said they were not likely to fly in a Boeing 737 MAX, while 37% said they would be likely to fly in after six months or more in the air. The poll shows that 41% of passengers found the price to be the most important aspect when booking a plane ticket, while 24% chose COVID-19 safety measures and only 3% said the aircraft model was most important.
“We continue to work closely with global regulators and our customers to support the safe return of the fleet to service around the world,” a Boeing spokesman said in response to the poll.
On December 9, 2020, a Brazilian airline GOL Linhas Aéreasbecame the first air carrier to restart 737 MAX flights. Aeromexico followed soon after by operating the first flight on the 737 MAX on December 21, 2020.
In the United States, other airlines are planning to jump on the MAX train in 2021. United Airlines plans to fly the aircraft in February and Southwest Airlines (LUV) in the second quarter of 2021.
In November 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX after a 20-month grounding period following two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, which killed 346 people.