It is expected that the FAA and several international regulators will clear the Boeing 737 MAX to return to service after modifications later this week. This will enable Boeing and airlines to quickly modify the programming and wiring issues on the aircraft and resume service once pilots are fully trained. Southwest indicated that it expects to return the MAX to service in the second quarter of 2021, and American appears to be ready for an initial MAX route beginning December 27th on the New York-Miami corridor.
But with the MAX coming back, we aren’t seeing the MAX name as prominently mentioned by airlines. This began with an order from Polish airline Enter Air, who ordered two but referred to the aircraft as the 737-8. Several customers have now dropped MAX from their references, including Air Canada and Ryanair, and American Airlines has removed the word MAX from the air safety cards placed at every seat, instead using the 737-8 designation.
It appears that airlines are skittish about the impact of using the MAX name, likely for good reason, as our sources indicate that market research about the MAX indicate high negatives after the two crashes and extended grounding. Airlines therefore don’t want to use the word MAX, and Boeing is likely to follow along with whatever the airlines want to call the airplane.