Cayman Airways Limited say their Max-8 planes have undergone the necessary safety modifications and will be ready to return to service in the second half of February.
“Cayman Airways has already completed all the aircraft modifications and improvements necessary to assure safe operation of the aircraft and we are now in the process of implementing several final measures, many of which are above and beyond the prescribed requirements,” said CAL President and CEO Fabian Whorms.
He added, “Cayman Airways plans to return the aircraft model to service in the second half of February 2021, after we complete the final series of actions necessary to reintroduce the aircraft to service. Over the next week or two, we will be sharing more details about our ‘Return To Service (RTS)’ plans, which will include various activities on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.”
Whorms’ comments come a day after the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) rescinded its ban on CAL’s use of Max-8 planes.
On Wednesday 27 Jan., when lifting its bans, the CAACI said it would, “allow the Boeing 737 Max to operate passenger flights, subject to close oversight”.
In March of 2019, the CAACI ordered the Max-8 planes be taken out of service, amid a global grounding of the aircraft, following two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.
An investigation into the crashes revealed issues with the aircraft’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which is designed to prevent a plane from stalling.
In its statement the CAACI said, “The decision follows the approval of extensive modifications to the design of the aircraft, to how it is flown, and to pilot training. This includes modifications to the aircraft’s [MCAS], as well as other key safety changes aimed at preventing further accidents.”
Whorms calls the lifting of the ban “timely,” and noted that since the US Federal Aviation Administration eased its restrictions on the Max aircraft in 14 Dec., the planes have “already accomplished thousands of flights, with hundreds of thousands of passengers”.