Since March, all 737 Max jets have been grounded following two crashes that resulted in 346 fatalities. This innovative new aircraft was a big seller for Boeing so it comes as no surprise that they are keen to get them off the ground again, and additionally, to improve the view of the plane in the public eye.
The public is very wary
After two very serious crashes within five months of each other, it’s no wonder that passengers are wary of the 737 Max. Research has shown that travelers may avoid these planes, they just don’t trust them. When choice is available, passengers could opt to fly with an airline that doesn’t use the ill fated 737 Max. It’s certainly going to take a lot for Boeing to regain trust, no one wants to fly with a lack of confidence in the aircraft at the back of their mind.
American Airlines’ pilots union has concerns
However, public opinion is one thing. It’s natural to be cautious when such events have taken place, but when a pilots union also voices its concerns regarding the fixes that have taken place, this feels even more serious. Passengers worry about a lot of things that simply don’t bother the crew at all. When we’re gripping our arm rest during turbulence, the cabin staff are smiling and working as normal. When pilots are worried, then this really is food for thought.
Second House Aviation Panel hearing
Today will see representatives from several airlines, along with pilots and other airline staff air their views and misgivings regarding the infamous aircraft and the measures that have so far been implemented. In attendance will be Dan Carey, the president of the Allied Pilots Association, representing around 15,000 American Airlines pilots. While he believes that significant positive changes have been made with the recent software fixes, he is keen to put forward a list of concerns regarding training protocols. Carey is also questioning whether pilots are receiving sufficient training as aircraft become increasingly technologically sophisticated.
Cabin crew uncertain of public trust
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants have also put forward their testimony and feel that public trust is a major concern here. If the public does not believe that the 737 Max has been fixed and rigorously tested, trust in the aircraft will never be regained and the plane’s reputation will be ruined for good. These incidents could well remain a cloud over the head of Boeing forever.
Still a way to go
A software upgrade for the jets has been developed, but this has not yet been signed off by the regulators. American Airlines has ordered a 737 Max simulator, but that will not be delivered until the end of the year. The Allied Pilots Association itself has requested simulator time, in a full-motion simulator in Miami, as pilots were previously only trained in a stationary simulator. So it could still be some time before everyone concerned is satisfied that all the issues with this plane have been resolved and the 737 Max is truly safe to fly again.
Based in Barcelona when she’s not traveling, Jen is a travel blogger and photographer. She loves inspiring people to travel and discover the world. An ex-flight attendant, Jen has expertise in the airline industry.