Fiji Airways has been invited to meet with Boeing executives in Renton, Washington, United States of America, as part of international efforts to get the troubled Boeing 737 MAX 8s flying again.
A Fiji Airways spokesperson said the national carrier will be represented at a meeting Boeing is holding. Fiji Airways has two Boeing 737 Max 8s and three more due for delivery.
They are grounded along with Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 fleets around the world.
Pilots from several airlines met with Boeing executives in Renton, on Saturday to discuss proposed changes to the 737 MAX, two of which have crashed in recent months.
The meeting on Saturday, with about a dozen pilots and trainers, was part of Boeing’s effort to manage the crisis set off by the crash of Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 in October, last year and the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 under similar circumstances earlier this month.
Boeing and people briefed on the meeting confirmed it.
In addition to reviewing proposed modifications to new anti-stall software and cockpit displays, pilots from five airlines strapped into flight simulators to see how they would have handled the situation that is believed to have brought down Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia, according to two people briefed on the meeting.
In each case, the pilots using the simulators were able to land the plane safely. Saturday’s session included representatives from American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines — the three American carriers that fly the MAX — as well as from two nonU.S. airlines, Copa Airlines and Fly Dubai.
The group did not include representatives from Ethiopian Airlines, Lion Air or the large Chinese carriers that fly the 737 MAX. Fiji Airways in an earlier in statement said: “In line with the stance taken by aviation regulators in our region, and an increasing number of operators worldwide, Fiji Airways, together with the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji, has taken the decision to temporarily ground its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until more information is known about the cause of the Ethiopian Airlines accident.
“We would like to stress that Fiji Airways, together with the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji, continue to have full confidence in the airworthiness of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and in the skilled and experienced Fiji Airways pilots and engineers who operate them.
“Since Fiji Airways commenced operating the Boeing 737 MAX in December 2018, the aircraft has proven to be reliable and efficient, and continuous flight data monitoring has not identified any issues that would give rise to a cause for concern.
“However, out of deference to the position taken by regulators in our region, and in response to the concerns expressed by the general public, both Fiji Airways and the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji have agreed that the most appropriate course is to impose this temporary grounding.
We will continue to monitor developments closely, and this decision will be reviewed in light of any new information.” he said.