With the Boeing 737 MAX 8 cleared to fly, American Airlines is now taking part in short trips to demonstrate and build confidence within the company and with the public. But American and other airlines still face an uphill battle in restoring the public’s confidence. Fort Worth Star-Telegram turned to Managing Partner Mike Slack to discuss what travelers need to know and why he’s not convinced the aircraft is safe.
Slack points out the 737 MAX shouldn’t have been certified by the FAA in the first place, because its technical differences from previous 737 models are too stark. Boeing has been accused by critics of installing new software unfamiliar to pilots in the 737 MAX, in an apparent rush to compete with rival Airbus, and then not fully disclosing the software changes to the flight crews.
“I think the pandemic has washed out a lot of the concern that was grabbing headlines until the pandemic hit,” Slack said. “Once people find out they’re being put on a MAX 8 (a version of the plane flown by American and others), it could cause a surge in concern among the public.”
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