US-based United Airlines has returned the Boeing 737 Max to commercial service, thereby becoming the second American airline to restart the aircraft after its global grounding due to two fatal crashes.

In November 2020, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifted its 20-month grounding only after Boeing made safety and software changes to the plane.

Due to the long grounding of its best-selling plane, Boeing experienced financial issues, which were further aggravated due to the reduced demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

United Flight 1864, which is the United Airlines’ first 737 Max flight since its grounding, left from Denver Airport and arrived in Houston airport at 11:23am Central time.

With the Max aircraft, United has scheduled around 550 flights this month and around 2,000 next month.

The carrier expects to take delivery of 24 Max planes this year. It had 14 MAX in its fleet during the March 2019 grounding.

In December 2020, American Airlines became the first US carrier to return the planes to service. Since the grounding of the model, it operated the first flight out of Miami.

In 2020, Brazilian carrier Gol became the world’s first airline to restart flights with the Max planes.

Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines intend to start flights with Max planes next month.

This week, United Airlines placed a $1bn order for Archer’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

The companies have entered a partnership agreement, under which United has agreed to invest in Archer.