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Boeing 737 Max returns to US skies with first commercial flight on American Airlines

American Airlines’ Flight 718, the first commercial 737 Max flight by a major U.S. airline since its recertification on Nov. 18, departed from Miami shortly before 10:30 a.m. ET and is scheduled to arrive at New York LaGuardia a little early at 1:18 p.m. ET.Jayme Deerwester (USA Today)

FAA certifies troubled Boeing 737 Max to fly again, but critics fear jetliner’s ‘basic aerodynamic problem’

The troubled airliner’s return to the skies won’t be immediate, even with the ungrounding order. The planes will need to be refitted with improvements ordered by the FAA, and pilots will need to be retrained in procedures. American Airlines, one of the largest operators, plans to have the planes flying again on Dec. 29 starting with a single round trip between New York and Miami. The airline recognized some travelers may be hesitant.Chris Woodyard (USA Today)

737 Max: House blames Boeing, FAA for mistakes that led to crashes

Boeing failed in its design and development of the Max, and the Federal Aviation Agency failed in its oversight of Boeing and its certification of the aircraft.House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Virgin Atlantic airline files for U.S. bankruptcy protection, tries to survive pandemic losses

Virgin Atlantic’s court moves follow bankruptcy filings in the U.S. by Latin America’s two biggest airlines, Latam and Avianca, and by Mexico’s Aeromexico since the start of the pandemic. Virgin’s sister airline Virgin Australia filed for protection from creditors in its home country in April.Susan Haas (USA Today)

Airlines were finally starting to see passengers return. Then coronavirus cases spiked

American, which has been more aggressive than most of its competitors in adding flights back for summer vacation season, filled 45% of its seats in May and nearly two-thirds of its seats in June as coronavirus cases eased and more states reopened their economies, Parker said. That compares with 15% in April. This month, bookings are down “markedly” as travelers opt not to travel due to quarantines and closed businesses, the airline says. Net bookings are currently down 75% to 85% from a year ago, compared with year-over-year declines of 35% to 40% in some Sun Belt markets after they reopened. Net bookings are new bookings minus trip cancellations.Dawn Gilbertson (USA Today)

Airbnb lays off 25% of its workforce due to the coronavirus fallout

We are collectively living through the most harrowing crisis of our lifetime, and as it began to unfold, global travel came to a standstill. Airbnb’s business has been hit hard, with revenue this year forecasted to be less than half of what we earned in 2019.Brian Chesky (Airbnb)

Southwest Airlines CEO says flyers needed soon to avoid drastic steps

If things don’t improve dramatically over the May, June, July time period, we’ll have to prepare ourselves for a drastically smaller airline.Gary Kelly (Southwest Airlines)

Coronavirus travel bailout: Trump says financial help on the way

We’re gathering up all the cash we can. …There is simply no way to know how long this crisis will last.Gary Kelly (Southwest Airlines)

Boeing to recommend simulator training for 737 Max pilots

Public, customer and stakeholder confidence in the 737 Maxs is critically important to us and with that focus Boeing has decided to recommend Max simulator training combined with computer-based training for all pilots prior to returning the MAX safely to service.Greg Smith (Boeing)

Boeing 737 Max grounding: Southwest reaches settlement with Boeing

The airline did not release terms of the confidential agreement but said it will contribute approximately $125 million to its employee profit sharing plan as a result. It will be paid out as part of the airline’s regular profit sharing in 2020.Dawn Gilbertson (USA Today)

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