American Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to fly commercial passengers on the Boeing 737 Max Tuesday, ending a two-year saga to fix the controversial aircraft that crashed twice and set off a worldwide reexamination of how planes are built and how governments regulate them.
An American Airlines 737 Max 8 took off from Miami International Airport at 9:30 a.m. CST for a two-hour, 58-minute trip to LaGuardia International Airport in New York, with a return flight heading back to Florida later in the day.
American Airlines Boeing 737 Max since March 2019.
Fort Worth-based American is easing the 737 Max back into service over the next few months, starting with a round trip a day between Miami and New York until Jan. 4, then slowly adding more. The carrier has scheduled 588 Max flights in January, according to data compiled by aviation analytics firm Cirium.
American’s initial 737 Max flight was about half full, similar to other flights on comparable-size jets flying between Miami and New York on Tuesday.
“We are not seeing any bookaways or data to suggest this would have an impact,” said American Airlines spokeswoman Gianna Urgo.
American said it is allowing customers to switch flights if they are not comfortable flying the Boeing 737 Max model.
Still, the airline sent company president Robert Isom to Miami on Tuesday to address media members gathered for the first Max flight in nearly two years…