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COPA Airlines has immediately and temporarily grounded their fleet of Boeing 737 MAX9 aircraft.

Flights scheduled on those planes will be shifted to other aircraft. Travelers can check on their itinerary at www.copa.com

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Edited by Keith Woolford

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Copa grounds Boeing Max 8  & 9 planes

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Posted 13/03/2019
 
Copa Airlines announced on Wednesday afternoon, March 13, that it had "immediately and temporarily" suspended the operation of its Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.

According to the airline, the suspension was carried out in coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The decision of Copa Airlines came soon after President Trump announced a similar measure for the United States which had trailed the European Union, the, Canada, China  Singapore and other countries around the world.decided after the crash accident last Sunday of an Ethiopian Airlines, which left 157 dead.

This decision was published in the Twitter account of the company which that the is measure is pending the "findings of on the causes of the Ethiopian Airlines accident".

 

https://newsroompanama.com/travel/copa-grounds-boeing-max-8-9-planes

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Copa pilots test Boeing MAX software updates

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Posted 29/03/2019
 
Copa Airlines reports that executives of the Flight Operations department qualified to fly their MAX fleet, accompanied by representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority of Panama (AAC), participated in review sessions and tests of the updates and measures implemented by Boeing to the software System of Increase of Maneuvering Characteristics (MCAS).

According to the airline, the executives and pilot instructors of Copa Airlines tested and validated the characteristics and changes proposed by Boeing in the meetings held in Seattle, US, along with airlines and regulators from across the world

Updates to MCAS submitted by Boeing will be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States (FAA) and other aviation authorities worldwide, such as those of Canada and Europe.

" We are satisfied with the updates made to the logic of the software, which address the existing concerns about the operation of the MCAS system" said Bolivar Dominguez, vice president of Flight Operations at Copa Airlines.

He said that they trust in the robust training program offered to their crews, qualified to operate the aircraft and the ability of their pilots to fly the MAX9 safely.

the airline said that, when making the purchase order for its MAX fleet, it invested in optional devices for the aircraft, which help the pilots to have a greater awareness in case of any irregular situation.

Since mid-2018 it has developed a robust specialized training program for its pilots who operate the MAX9, which will be strengthened when a MAX simulator acquired by the Company goes into operation in  May.
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/copa-pilots-test-boeing-max-software-updates

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Panama lifts ban on 737 MAX conditional to US requirements

Panama‘s CAA resolved (03-Jul-2019) to lift the temporary ban on Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft, which was imposed by Resolution 41 on 13-Mar-2019. The CAA added the following requirements to operate the aircraft models:

 

https://blueswandaily.com/panama-lifts-ban-on-737-max-conditional-to-us-requirements/

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Copa pulls troubled Boeing Max planes from fleet

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Mothballed until mid-December

Posted 15/08/2019

Copa Airlines has removed Boeing MAX aircraft from its fleet until mid-December due to delays in Boeing obtaining safety certifications from U.S. aviation authorities.

In his report of income and expenses for the second quarter, Pedro Heilbron, executive director of Copa Airlines, said that the company took MAX aircraft out of its programming until December 15.

The stoppage of the six MAX aircraft has impacted the company's operation on its long-term flights, such as San Francisco, the United States, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

To take full advantage of its fleet of 104 aircraft, the airline has canceled flights on some of its routes, including its internal flight to David, in Chiriqui province.

For this year, Boeing was to have ed deliver another seven MAX 9 aircraft to Copa, a delay that will impact the operations of the airline, a decrease that will be felt more strongly in the second half of the year, according to estimates of the company's executive plan.

In addition to reducing the transport capacity of the Panamanian airline, problems with MAX aircraft also impacted the expansion plans of the company's low-cost subsidiary, Wingo.

By the end of 2019, the company was scheduled to maintain a plane in Panama to offer flights from to Colombia and Cuba, among others, but now those plans have moved to the second quarter of 2020.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/copa-pulls-troubled-boeing-max-planes-from-fleet

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Copa’s Boeing MAX 737 fleet will fly again when “completely safe”

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Posted 28/10/2019

The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, “will fly again when it is completely safe to fly them”  was the message from the US Federal Aviation Agency administrator, Steve Dickson to CEO’s of Latin American airlines, including Copa   and  civil aviation authorities of the region  on Monday October 28  at an  Airline Leaders Forum held in Brasilia. organized by the Latin American and Caribbean Aerial Transport Association.

The planes have been grounded since March 14, due to failures in the stabilization system of the aircraft or also known as MCAS that would have caused two fatal accidents.

"I will fly in the MAX myself ... We will gain confidence and we will return the plane to service," he said without specifying a timeline.  In the industry they expect the certification to be granted again later this year.

Airlines such as  Copa,  United,  and American Airlines have, on their flight itineraries, canceled the operations of the MAX until the end of January 2020.

The US regulator explained that the FAA evaluates that the manufacturer complies with the recommendations that were made and is constantly reviewing the adoption of the new software, but also that all pilots are properly trained.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/copas-boeing-max-737-fleet-will-fly-again-when-completely-safe

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Copa’s Boeing  737 MAX fleet stays grounded through January

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Grounded planes at Tocumen

Posted 30/10/2019

The six Boeing  737 MAX fleet t of Copa Airlines, which stand in front of Terminal 2 at Tocumen International Airport, and four more awaiting delivery fom  Boeing hangars will not be carrying passengers through January 2020.

"They will remain off the airline's schedule of flights throughout the month of January 2020," said company president Pedro Heilbron, at the  ALTA Airline Leaders Forum, which takes place in Brazil.

 Heilbron said  that this does not mean that they will fly again immediately  after that date because they must first wait for the recertification of the aircraft by the United States Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Panama

"With what we know we have projected the itineraries of these canceled planes, until the end of January 2020," he said.

He explained that once the planes are recertified and approved by local and regional aeronautical authorities, it will take the airline two weeks to prepare them to fly again.

Heilbron said that although the paralysis of these aircraft has impacted the flight schedule and seating capacity, at present they do not want to disclose the figures or costs that it has generated. Airlines around the world have lost hundreds of millions of dollars since the planes were grounded after two crashes taking the lives of hundreds of passengers and crew.

“We are not disclosing the cost of having our aircraft on the ground. We have six in Panama and another four that have been manufactured are in the Boeing hangars. Once the planes return to the air we can calculate what the impact has been, ”he said, adding that all the affected airlines will surely sit down to talk with the manufacturer about compensation for losses they have suffered through not having these aircraft models in their flight schedules.

“For everything, there is a time, and we have full confidence, that the MAX 737 is a great aircraft, which has had some very serious and very unfortunate problems, but we hope it will be a safe plane in the future after all the revisions to which have been made,”he said.

Resilience
Heilbron, who is also president of the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), explained that in the region there are basically four airlines with inoperative MAX: Copa Airlines, Aero Mexico, Gol, and Aerolineas Argentinas.

737 MAX airplanes have been grounded worldwide since March 14, after two fatal accidents that left 346 people dead: October 29, 2018, Lion Airline and Ethiopian Airlines, on March 10, 2019.

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, executive director of ALTA, said that despite the problems in different regions, in addition to cost impacts, Latin America and the Caribbean is resilient and passenger traffic as a whole is expected to close 2019 with a growth of 5%.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/travel/copas-boeing-737-max-fleet-stays-grounded-through-january-1

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Copa not seeking alternatives for grounded Boeing planes

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Posted 12/01/2020

Copa  Airlines, which has six grounded Boeing Max 8 planes following its worldwide suspension after the two accidents that killed at least 300 people is not exploring  the acquisition of aircraft from another manufacturer say company spokespersons says a La Prensa report.

"We are in very close contact with the manufacturer, following and evaluating the MCAS certification process by regulatory authorities. The MCAS control system (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) is an automated safety function in the 737 MAX 8 designed to automatically connect and make corrections if certain parameters are exceeded in the changes of altitude and heading.

The certifications of this system are vital for the future of the MAX series. It is believed that the MCAS influenced the accidents of the aircraft of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines the In both cases they experienced erratic ascents and descents and fluctuating flight speeds before crashing shortly after takeoff

In 2015, Copa Airlines and Boeing signed a $6 billion agreement for the acquisition of 61 aircraft.

In addition to the 6 MAX9 aircraft that the Panamanian airline maintains on the ground, last year it was to receive another 7 aircraft, a situation that has reduced the company's expansion and has led to reduced to important company markets such as Argentina and Brazil.

"We trust that the 737 MAX is a great aircraft, which will be even better after the exhaustive reviews and tests to which they are being subjected," said spokesmen of the company that last November confirmed that they did not expect to have their MAX fleet before March 2020

In recent days Boeing has delivered to the US regulatory authorities hundreds of documents that contain conversations of its pilots and technicians that show the discomfort that existed over the design and configuration of the projected new star within the Boeing models.

Currently, there are no clear indications that the suspension will be reversed during the first half of the year.

At the beginning of the year, it was learned that American Airlines and Aeromexico had agreed to a confidential economic compensation agreement to mitigate the losses caused by the suspension of the MAX fleet. Copa will discuss compensation “when the time is right.”

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/copa-not-seeking-alternatives-for-grounded-boeing-planes

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