The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has said “certain” Boeing 737 MAX planes, which were globally grounded after two fatal crashes involving the model that took place within months, was now safe to fly, the media reported.
The 737 MAX has been globally grounded since March 2019 after the crashes of the Lion Air Flight 610 (October 2018) and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (March 2019) claimed a total of 346 lives.
Since the Ethiopian crash, the EASA has been carrying out a root-and-branch review of the 737 MAX’s design, independently from a similar process undertaken by the US regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said his organization had “left no stone unturned” in its review of the aircraft and its analysis of design changes made by the manufacturer.
“We went further and reviewed all the flight controls, all the machinery of the aircraft”, he explains.
The aim, according to Ky, was to look at anything which could cause a critical failure.
Alaska Airlines announced Tuesday it will buy 23 more Boeing 737 Max jets, the largest U.S. order for the jet since its grounding 20 months ago. Boeing stock edged lower.
Alaska Airlines now has 68 Boeing 737 Max aircraft on order and 52 on option. In November, the carrier announced it was leasing 13 new 737 Max jets and selling some Airbus A320 jets it received from its Virgin America acquisition.
“We believe in this airplane, we believe in our strong partnership with Boeing, and we believe in the future of Alaska Airlines and the incredible opportunities ahead as we climb our way out of this pandemic,” Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said in a release.
Boeing is seeing some signs of returning demand. Ireland’s Ryanair ordered 75 Boeing 737 Max planes earlier this month, the biggest overall order since the plane was grounded last year.
Boeing, US Navy launch F/A-18E using ski-jump
Boeing and the US Navy have launched a F/A-18E Super Hornet using a ski-jump ramp at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, as the company eyes an Indian navy fighter requirement.
The company says the work indicates that the Super Hornet “would do well” operating from India’s short take-off but arrested recovery aircraft carriers.
“The first successful and safe launch of the F/A-18 Super Hornet from a ski jump begins the validation process to operate effectively from Indian navy aircraft carriers,” says Ankur Kanaglekar, India fighter sales lead for Boeing.
“The F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet will not only provide superior warfighting capability to the Indian navy but also create opportunities for cooperation in naval aviation between the United States and India.”
A video on Instagram shows the aircraft launching, although it appears to be in a ‘clean’ configuration with no payload. The work followed launch simulations by Boeing.
Boeing had already discussed plans to test the Super Hornet on a ski-jump. At the Singapore Airshow in February, Jeff Shockey, vice-president global sales and marketing at Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said ski-jump trials would take place in the first quarter of 2020.
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