January 27, 2021 / Easa, the European Aviation Safety Agency, has cleared the Boeing 737 MAX to return to European skies after almost two years of grounding following the crashes that involved the type in October 2018 (Lion Air flight JT610) and in May 2019 (Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302)
Easa had put down four conditions to be met before the recertification of the type to fly in European skies: the two 737 MAX crashed were deemed sufficiently understood; approval by EASA of design changes made by Boeing; a complete design review by EASA; and adequate train procedure for 737 MAX crews. All these requirements have been met.
Differently from North America and Asia, in Europe (where Airbus aircraft are built for the most), the Boeing 737 MAX was not a blockbuster. Only low-cost carrier Ryanair (FR) made a big order (for a specifically designed, high gross weight version of the MAX 8 capable of carrying up to 220 passengers). Elsewhere, Norwegian (DY) bought the MAXs, although their fate is to be considered given the huge financial difficulties of the Scandinavian low-cost, as well as leisure operator TUI (BY). Among legacy carriers, only Lot-Polish Airlines (LO) has six MAX (of the -8 series) in the fleet, with eight more due to arrive, Icelandair (FI) with six in the fleet and three more to arrive (of the -8 and -9 series) and Turkish Airlines (TK), with 12 in the fleet and 12 more expected (of both the -8 and -9 series).
Easa’s approval follows those by the US federal Aviation Administration, Transport Canada and Anac National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil. (Photo Wikimedia Commons / SaunderBruce)