Dec. 3 (UPI) -- American Airlines is the first carrier to returned the Boeing 737 Max to the skies, flying employees and executives this week in a bid to restore public confidence in the troubled model.
The 737 Max has been grounded worldwide since March 2019 after two crashes overseas killed hundreds of people. Boeing said a fault with the plane's automated flight system was the chief factor in the crashes.
American said Wednesday it is preparing its entire 737 Max fleet to return to commercial passenger service. A flight from Dallas to Oklahoma on Wednesday included AA employees and executives, including CEO Doug Parker.
The FAA cleared the airliner to return to service last month.
"Safety is our No. 1 priority at American. It guides every decision we make and action we take," AA said in a statement.
"American has put in place rigorous processes to ensure that every plane in the air is safe and our pilots, flight attendants, team members and customers are confident in the return of the 737 Max."
The carrier said it will accommodate passengers who are still uncomfortable with the 737 Max, which will include booking them on different models.
"There is no end to the flexibility our customers will have to feel comfortable," the carrier added. "Customers can re-book on the next available flight in the same cabin -- free of charge; cancel their trip and receive travel credits redeemable with American Airlines; [or] change their itinerary within a 300-mile radius at no extra charge."
American will be the first U.S. carrier to resume passenger service with the 737 Max and plans to begin on Dec. 29 with flights between Miami and New York City.
Boeing said it has lost about $20 billion stemming from the grounding of the 737 Max.