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737 Max planes take flight again in San Diego

The aircraft was grounded after two deadly crashes.
737 Max
Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 20:43:59-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The new 737 Max planes are flying in San Diego once again.

The Alaska Airlines flight took off from Seattle early Monday morning. After testing the 737-9 Max for five weeks, they are now a part of the airline’s regular fleet, according to a news release from the company.

The jet left San Diego International Airport around the lunch hour Monday.

“We have the safest airline industry in the world and probably just about the safest place in the world to be right now is to be on an airplane,” said Joe Graham, a retired PSA and U.S. Airways captain. He spent more than 35 years flying commercial planes.

The deadly crashes in late 2018 and March 2019 involving the 737 Max killed 346 people. The planes were then grounded worldwide.

Graham said the aircraft taking flight now have been fixed and sufficiently tested.

“They've improved the software and they've improved the sensing devices. It is still the same airframe and the same engines, but they have fixed the problems that cause those Eastern countries crashes,” Graham said.

Alaska Airlines recently announced an agreement with Boeing to receive a total of 48 737-9 Max aircraft in the next four years, according to information from its website.

In an industry devastated by the pandemic, Graham hopes the improvements to these planes can calm passengers who may still be questioning how safe it is to fly.

“I would not hesitate to fly or fly on a 737 of any model right now,” Graham said.

American Airlines was the first to start flying the 737 Max planes again in late December.