United Airlines moving its Boeing 737 MAX to short-term storage
CHICAGO: United Airlines said on Wednesday it is beginning the process of moving its 14 Boeing 737 MAX jets to short-term storage at Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Arizona, where weather conditions are more favorable to store aircraft.
United’s MAX planes, which were grounded worldwide in March after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, are currently being stored in Los Angeles and Houston and will be moved by mid-September, United said, while reiterating that it has removed the jets from its flying schedule through November 3.
The 737 MAX, which had been Boeing’s fastest-selling aircraft thanks to its fuel-efficient engines and longer ranger, was grounded worldwide in March after an Ethiopian Airlines plane plunged to the ground soon after take-off, five months after a similar Lion Air fatal crash off the coast of Indonesia.
Boeing hopes a software upgrade and new pilot training will add layers of protection to prevent erroneous data from triggering a system called MCAS, which was activated in both the planes before they crashed.
Boeing has embarked on a campaign to restore faith in its most popular jet and has pledged to remove any risk by reprogramming the software pinpointed as a common factor in both crashes as it faces pressure to convince MAX operators and global regulators that the aircraft is safe to fly again.