Boeing Max 8’s may fly again by October 2020.
Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Andre Viljoen confirmed that any revenue lost and any costs incurred by the airline after the grounding of the Boeing Max 8 aircraft have been settled by Boeing.
“Fiji Airways has received the best Max settlement from Boeing in the world.” says Viljoen. He goes on further to say they had robust negotiations on the settlement.
Max 8s were part of a modernization program as the airline company had 20-year-old 737-800s, and these Max 8s were acquired to firstly save a lot of fuel.
The Boeing Max 8 aircraft are 15 per cent more fuel-efficient than older generation 737’s, plus the newer aircraft have also got huge maintenance advantages and efficiencies.
The CEO says regretfully the accidents occurred and the Max 8s were grounded before they could be fully operational.
Fiji Airways found themselves with a lot of operating constraints because there were three Max 8s to come and two were grounded. The two 20-year-old 737-800s were handed back to Boeing.
Fiji Airways had to use some of their A330s to meet the obligations of their schedules and even rented aircraft on a weekly basis with pilots and crew from Malindo Air and Miami Air to keep the schedules going.
Boeing is currently doing training and testing flights on the Max 8, and there is a belief that by October they could possibly be certified to fly again.