FORT WORTH, Texas (NEWS10) – American Airlines announced Wednesday morning its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8’s will return to service January 16th.
American is the first airline to set a date for the return of their fleet. The Federal Aviation Administration grounded all 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 jets back in March.
The airline says it expects the two software upgrades to be approved before the end of the year, and it is notifying the S.E.C. when it intends to fly again.
Sources tell ABC News, there is a consensus that approval from the FAA will come in the first two weeks of December.
Boeing says, “We continue to work to return to service in this quarter.”
The FAA says it is following a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the Boeing 737 Max to passenger service. Adding, “The FAA will lift the aircraft’s prohibition order when it is deemed safe to do so. The FAA is continuing to evaluate Boeing’s software modification and is still developing necessary training requirements.”
Airlines need up to 30 days to train pilots before they can fly the updated MAX’s.