The largest Boeing 737 operator takes up to 4 months to train MAX pilots

The world’s largest operator of the Boeing 737 does not expect an immediate return of flights with the MAX after the recertification of the jet.

Southwest Boeing 737 MAX 8 © Tomás Del Coro

Southwest Airlines is now the largest operator of the 737 jet with 734 units of the Next Generation family in its fleet comprising the -700 and -800 models. A few years ago, the company acquired 280 new generation MAX jets to renew its fleet.

However, the 737 MAX suffered two accidents and has not been able to operate commercial flights since 2019, and worst of all, still with no release forecast, despite the company betting that everything will be sorted out by the end of the year.

Still, Southwest estimates that it will take another three to four months for the 34 units to be received by jet as pilots will have to undergo new training according to the new protocols set by Boeing.

Such training courses, as well as MAX software and hardware modifications, are being reviewed by the US Federal Administration of Administration (FAA) and may be approved in the coming weeks.

The training time update, which can be used as a market benchmark, was released by operations manager Mike Van de Ven in an interview with The Points Guy, in the same interview where he mentioned the possibility of acquiring an Airbus aircraft for the first time:

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