South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday)

Dozens of Boeing Max 737s pulled by airlines

- By David Koenig and Michelle Chapman

Airlines pulled dozens of Boeing Max 737s out of service for inspection­s after the aircraft maker told them about a possible electrical problem, the latest setback for plane.

Boeing said Friday that the issue affected planes used by 16 airlines, and that it recommende­d inspection­s before the planes fly again.

The Max was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after two crashes killed 346 people. Regulators in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Brazil cleared the plane to resume flying in recent months after Boeing changed an automated flight-control system that played a role in the crashes.

Boeing said Friday that the electrical issue was unrelated to the flight-control system. It did not say how many planes are affected or how long it will take for inspection­s and, if necessary, repairs.

Southwest Airlines, which began flying the Max again last month, said it removed 30 of its 58 Max jets from its schedule to inspect them. Southwest spokesman Brian Parrish said the airline has not experience­d any known problems related to the electrical issue.

Southwest has a fleet of more than 700 Boeing 737s, most of them older models than the Max. Parish said the airline will use other planes to operate flights that had been scheduled with Max jet, and it anticipate­s only minimal disruption to its operation.

American Airlines temporaril­y removed 17 of its 41 Max planes from service, according to a memo to employees. Boeing traced the issue to a production change made after the worldwide fleet of Max jets was grounded in 2019.

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