Business Report: Economics of MAX-8 issue

Business Report: Economics of MAX-8 issue

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Airlines with MAX-8′s fall into three categories at the moment and that’s because, quite apart from the actual condition of the aircraft, there is the non-technical issue of how people or governments FEEL about the safety of MAX-8′s.

Category one is airlines that fly SOME of these planes but not many. They can readily cover flights with other aircraft, so it's not too disruptive for them to ground aircraft that passengers are antsy about anyway.

Category two is airlines that fly a lot of MAX-8′s - they’re eager to ground them if there’s a real issue but reluctant to mess up their operations if there isn’t. Southwest, for example, flies more MAX-8′s than any other airline in the world.

Category three is airlines that don’t get to make that decision because governments make it for them. China grounded all MAX-8′s before any other country did. Four Chinese airlines collectively fly a lot of these jets.

The Canadian airline WestJet, the only carrier flying MAX-8's to Hawaii, was able to keep doing that until this morning, when Canada joined other nations in grounding the MAX-8. WestJet also normally flies MAX-8's to Europe - and THOSE flights were blocked by the French, Dutch and Brits all banning MAX-8 overflighters, and the more general EU groundstop.

Airlines don’t keep a lot of spare planes and it’s not uncommon for one jet to make several flights a day. Grounding even a few aircraft can set up cascading cancellations and a loss of millions in revenue.

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