Weekly Aviation News

Baltimore, Maryland (Arundel News Network) – Here is your weekly aviation news.

MAX News

With the grounding of the world MAX aircraft fleet for now starting its second-week airlines have started to announce how bad they have been affected.

Southwest Airline, who only flies Boeing 737 aircraft have been impacted the greatest. They have been cancelling about 130 flights a day since the MAX 8 has been grounded. They have been hit by 4.5% of their aircraft being on the ground.

This past week the airline started to ferry their MAX 8’s from various hubs to Southern California Logistics Airport for a longer-term storage. The airline has stated “Since many of the aircraft occupied limited, available space at the airports where they were parked, Southwest developed an enhanced storage plan to fly all of the aircraft to Victorville this week – a facility that we’ve routinely used for various maintenance operations. ” They went on to further say that “having these airplanes in one place will provide efficiencies as we execute the repetitive maintenance program necessary for stationary aircraft. “

United Airlines said in an e-mailed statement that they have cancelled only one flight since the the FAA order. Their only flight was cancelled on March 15. American Airlines on the other hand has been affected but not to the extent of Southwest. They have been cancelling about 90 flights a day.

While these planes have been grounded indefinitely, airlines have been allowed to ferry them. This is under normal maintenance ferry flight procedures with the FAA’s approval to re-position the aircraft. These procedures forbids any passengers on the flights.

Earlier today a Southwest Airlines plane from Orlando to Victorville had to return to Orlando for an emergency landing. Initial reports from various media outlets did not mention that the reason for the return was due to engine failure due to a “rollback.” The new kind of engines that are on the MAXs are not designed for the aircraft to be stationary for two weeks. As of the writing of this article, the aircraft in question registered as N8712L was still on the ground at Orlando pending maintenance checks.

Booking Problems?

Were you attempting to fly on JetBlue, American Airlines or Alaska Airlines today or attempting to book a future air trip? Due to a computer glitch from Sabre, new air travel was not able to be booked in addition to checking in. Not all airlines use the Sabre system which meant not all airlines were affected.

Sabre has stated that the issue has been resolved. Sabre’s official statement earlier today stated: “Sabre is currently experiencing a technical issue that is impacting multiple carriers, including American Airlines,” the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier said. “Sabre is working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, and we apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”

American and Chinese Airlines Launch Loyalty Program

American Airlines and China Southern have partnered together in a new loyalty program. Up to this point, Cathay Pacific has been the only carrier that American Airlines has partnered with for frequent flyers.

American, who is the largest American airline has now partnered with China Southern who is the largest carrier in Asia by fleet size. The partnership means that AAdvantage members are now able to earn and spend miles on China Southern while Sky Pearl Club members can expect the same treatment on American Airlines.

New FAA Chief?

President Trump has announced his pick to lead the Federal Aviation Administration amid the Boeing 737 MAX crisis. The White House has announced that they plan on nominating Steve Dickson who is a former Delta Airlines Vice President. Dickson oversaw flight operations at Delta Airlines.

President Trump’s nomination would come at a time where their is heavy scrutiny over the FAA’s approval process of the Boeing 737 MAX 8.

Dickson retired from Delta on October 1. He spent 27 years with Delta Airlines and served as the Senior Vice President most recently. He also served in the United States Air Force as an officer and is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and was a F-15 fighter pilot.

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