Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9

Boeing 737 MAX: Understanding its history, challenges and improvements

To the point The Boeing 737 MAX, an aircraft with a complex history, has generated major discussion and concern recently with the incident involving a 737 MAX 9 aircraft from Alaska Airlines.

Indeed, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has asked all operators to cease operations involving the B737-MAX 9 for inspection purposes; these aircraft have been designed with an additional emergency exit door, and some carriers have decided to close this space in order to fit more seats. Only the 737-MAX 9 model features this door.

What is the Boeing 737 MAX?

The Boeing 737 MAX is the latest iteration of the 737 family, renowned for its success in commercial aviation. Launched in 2011, the 737 MAX aimed to be more fuel-efficient and higher-performance than its predecessors, with an emphasis on operational efficiency. This aircraft was designed to compete with the Airbus 320 NEO.

There are several models of this aircraft: the MAX-7, MAX-8, MAX-9 and MAX-10. The MAX 7 and 10 are awaiting certification, with the first deliveries scheduled for 2024.

What happened with the grounding of 737-MAX 8 aircraft in the past?

With regard to the grounding of 737 MAX 8 aircraft, there have been a series of serious incidents which have led to the temporary suspension of these aircraft. The two accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX 8s occurred with Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019 and Lion Air in October 2018. These accidents have resulted in the loss of human life, and have raised serious concerns about the safety of these aircraft.

Subsequent investigations revealed problems with the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System). The MCAS was designed to automatically correct the flight angle to avoid stalling, but was identified as a major contributing factor in both accidents. Air regulators around the world have decided to ground all 737 MAX aircraft pending modifications and safety checks.

Boeing worked closely with the civil aviation authorities and implemented software modifications and training updates to remedy the problems identified. The 737 MAX 8 aircraft were gradually allowed to resume flying after regulators deemed that the corrective measures taken met the necessary safety standards.

This event had a significant impact on the aviation industry, and led to an in-depth re-evaluation of aircraft certification and safety procedures.

737 max

How to recognize a Boeing 737 MAX?

A Boeing 737 MAX can be recognized by several distinctive features. Here are a few points to consider when identifying a Boeing 737 MAX:

  1. Wing design: Boeing 737 MAXs feature wings with upward-curving winglets at the tips. These winglets are designed to improve energy efficiency.
  2. Cockpit: If you get a close-up view of the cockpit, you’ll notice that the Boeing 737 MAX is equipped with modern flight displays, including LCD screens, which are more advanced than older models in the 737 series.
  3. Engines: The Boeing 737 MAX is powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines. These engines are more energy-efficient than previous models.
  4. “MAX” sticker: Some aircraft may have the word “MAX” clearly displayed on the fuselage near the door, indicating that it is a 737 Max series model.

Bear in mind that these features may vary depending on the airline and the aircraft’s specific configuration.

If you’re in any doubt and it’s important for you to choose your planewhen you do a flight search, whether with Google Flights or directly on the airline’s website, the type of aircraft used is clearly indicated.

YUL PTY Boeing 737MAX 9 FR

Is the Boeing 737-800 reliable?

The Boeing 737-800 is considered a safe and reliable aircraft, and has been on the market for a very long time. It is part of the 737 family, one of the world’s most successful commercial aircraft series.

The Boeing 737 MAX differs from the regular Boeing 737 by introducing the MCAS system, although this has raised safety concerns with the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents just a few months apart. Basically, it features more fuel-efficient engines, new wings with upward-curving winglets, and a modernized cockpit with LCD screens. These improvements are aimed at increasing efficiency, but the 737 MAX has also undergone adjustments in response to safety issues.

The 737-800 has a good reputation for operational performance and safety. It is widely used by many airlines around the world for short- to medium-haul flights.

Which airlines use Boeing 737 MAX in Canada?

The Boeing 737 MAX has become a major player in North American skies, with several airlines adopting this latest-generation aircraft for their operations.

Among the major carriers that have integrated the Boeing 737 MAX into their fleets are some well-established names:

  • Aeromexico (737-MAX 8 and 9)
  • Air Canada (737-MAX 8)
  • Alaska Airlines (737-MAX 8 and 9)
  • American Airlines (737-MAX 8)
  • Copa Airlines (737-MAX 9)
  • Icelandair (737-MAX 9)
  • Lynx Air (737-MAX 8)
  • Southwest Airlines (737-MAX 8)
  • United (737-MAX 8 and 9)
  • WestJet (737-MAX 8)

This is not an exhaustive list, but it does include airlines operating to and from Canada with 737 MAXs in their fleets.

Boeing 737MAX-9 airlines
Crédit photo :

Boeing 737 MAX-8 at Air Canada and Westjet

It is important to note that no Canadian airline has a B737-MAX 9 aircraft.

Specific routes for Air Canada and WestJet Boeing 737 MAX family aircraft may vary according to operational planning, flight schedules and changes in demand.

At Air Canada, the 737 MAX is often used on domestic routes in Canada, serving major cities across the country. These aircraft can also be deployed on transborder flights to the USA, sun destinations and London from Halifax, offering efficient connectivity on short and medium-haul routes.

WestJet also uses the 737 MAX on domestic routes in Canada, covering a wide range of destinations. What’s more, they can be used on flights to popular southern vacation destinations and cross-border connections.

It is important to note that airlines regularly adjust their routes according to demand, market conditions and other operational factors. We therefore recommend consulting the airlines’ official flight schedules or contacting their customer service departments for specific information on current Boeing 737 MAX routes.

Here’s a link to the Air Canada and partner flight schedule for winter 2024. You can search by aircraft using the letters 7M8 for the B737-MAX 8 and 7M9 for the B737-MAX 9.

For example, we can see here that flight AC3048 has a 737-MAX 9 between Atlanta and Newark, but in reality, flight AC3048 is a “codeshare” flight operated by United Airlines.

AC3048 United

Bottom Line

The future remains uncertain for Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 aircraft, which are still grounded following FAA inspection requests, but it’s clear that these new problems aren’t helping Boeing’s reputation. We’ll be keeping an eye on this situation over the coming days and weeks.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
I'm Aline, an experienced traveller, a foodie at heart, an Avgeek, a photography enthusiast and an expert on credit card programs. I use Reward Points to travel on a budget and to save money on everyday life; writing about these topics allows me to share my passion and help you. ~ 7 continents and 75 countries ~

Suggested Reading