The Boeing 737 Max was grounded earlier this year following two fatal crashes within five months of each other. On October 29th 2018 a Lion Air plane crashed in Indonesia shortly after take-off and on March 10th 2019 an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed in Ethiopia. Everyone on board the two flights lost their lives with a death toll of 346.
Since the grounding, Boeing have been investigating the 737 Max. It is believed the fatal accidents were caused by issues with the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). Evidence has shown that during both flights the nose of the aircraft was pushed downwards, a movement caused by MCAS.
MCAS is responsible for making the aircraft easier to handle and prevent stalling. According to The Express, Boeing have said “the system was just one of the contributing factors in a chain of events that lead to the disasters”.
The software has now been updated and over 800 tests have been carried out. Boeing believes the planes will able to return to the skies before the end of 2019.
The grounding has had a huge impact on Boeing’s finances. Profits have more than halved and production of the 787 Dreamliner has been reduced.
Airlines that have purchased the jets, but are not able to use them, have also announced a financial loss. Budget airline Ryanair and travel giant TUI are both awaiting Boeing 737 Max’s.
Flying is a nerve-racking experience for many passengers and the reintroduction of the Boeing 737 Max may be a worry for some. Passengers can check which aircraft they are likely to be flying with through SeatGuru; however, airlines occasionally change the plane at the last minute for operational reasons.