American Airlines, whose Boeing 737 MAX fleet was grounded, along with the rest of the worldwide Max fleet in the wake of two fatal crashes involving two carriers in Ethiopia and Indonesia, is committed to the planes once they are recertified by the Federal Aviation Administration.
In an exclusive interview with “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt, AA Chairman and CEO Doug Parker said that “there is an absolute fix” for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
“There’s one that we will all be comfortable with, or the aircraft won’t be recertified. And our pilots are gonna agree with that, or the aircraft won’t fly,” Parker said in his first television interview since the planes were grounded.
Watch the interview tonight on “NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt” at 6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. CT (or check your local NBC station).
American Airlines’ fleet of 24 Boeing 737 MAX 8 was grounded by the FAA in March. American, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines are the only three airlines in the United States that operate the aircraft.
American has canceled all Boeing 737 MAX flights through August 19, approximately 115 flights per day.
In March, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane, crashed shortly after takeoff en route to Nairobi, killing all 157 on board, including eight Americans. Lion Air flight JT610, on a brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8, crashed after takeoff from Jakarta last October with 189 passengers and crew.
Investigators believe both crashes were caused by an anti-stall system called MCAS.
Parker admits restoring confidence in the flying public is a challenge, even after the plane is approved to return to flight.
“Accidents like this, tragedies like this, are you know horrific,” he said. “Now in our case, we’ve always believed that, that airplane with our pilots, with our training was an airworthy aircraft. But we’re not, we’re not, it’s not for us to decide whether or not the aircraft flies. It needs to be safe for everyone.”