TUI and the Boeing 737 MAX
Approval for the Boeing 737 MAX
Following the example of the American aviation authorities (FAA) and after having conducted their own thorough investigation, the European aviation authorities (EASA) has certified the Boeing 737 MAX on 27 January 2021 again for all EU member states. The local authorities (Belgian Civil Aviation Authority) have also given their approval. This means that TUI is using the aircraft of this type again for the operation of flights. It goes without saying that the safety of our passengers and crew is a top priority. On this page you can find more information about the reintroduction of this type of aircraft by TUI, as well as an answer to frequently asked questions.
Safety above all
The Boeing 737 MAX has not been used for any flights in the past two years due to the worldwide grounding of this type of aircraft. The reason for the grounding were the two tragic incidents with 737 MAX aircraft of the Indonesian Lion Air and of Ethiopian Airlines. During these two years, manufacturer Boeing worked with the regulators on a safe return of the Boeing 737 MAX. For that purpose, an extremely meticulous procedure was followed in cooperation with the authorities. The adjustments made to the software of the aircraft and the requirements that airlines and their pilots must meet in order to be allowed to use the 737 MAX again have been approved by the international aviation authorities. EASA has certified the 737 MAX again for all EU member states.
Cleaner, quieter, more economical
That's good news. It means that we are using our aircraft of the type Boeing 737 MAX again. This type of aircraft is a valuable addition to our fleet, as the 737 MAX is considerably cleaner, quitter and more economical than its predecessor. The new type of engine is 40% quieter and thanks to the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft, both the CO2 emissions and the fuel consumption have been decreased by 14%.
In the air again
All preparations to use the 737 MAX again were made, and in February 2021 we started operating flights with the 737 MAX again. We can imagine that you may have questions. Below is an overview of the most frequently asked questions and the answers to them.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Does TUI have confidence in the Boeing 737 MAX?
A: Yes, we have complete confidence in the aircraft. After the recertification by FAA in the US and EASA in Europe, the Boeing 737 MAX is one of the most and best tested commercial aircraft ever. All parts of the control system have been recertified. We have closely monitored this recertification process and furthermore carried out our own checks in order to guarantee that the 737 MAX is used safely and efficiently. In addition, our pilots received training in accordance with the strictest standards. The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority. We only use an aircraft if we are absolutely certain that it’s safe.
Q: What are the adjustments that were made?
A: A number of adjustments were made to the control system, including the so-called MCAS system. This system will in the future work with two sensors instead of one and the pilot can always overrule the system. In addition, a number of operational procedures were adjusted and an additional training course was developed for pilots who fly this type of aircraft. More information about the adjustments is available on the website of Boeing: https://www.boeing.com/737-max-updates/. You will see an infographic and a short animated video in which the adjustments are explained.
Q: What about the required adjustments to your own aircraft?
A: Obviously, the required adjustments to our aircraft were made in compliance with the guidelines of Boeing and the international aviation authorities. This means that our engineers made the adjustments to the MCAS system, that manuals were adjusted and that our pilots followed the mandatory training. All this was done with the purpose of using the 737 MAX safely again.
Q: Will you perform test flights before using this aircraft?
A: Yes, we have to go through a strict checklist before we use this aircraft again. One of the items on the list was a test flight. This is necessary to be certain that an aircraft that was grounded for a long time functions perfectly. Another good thing to know is that American Airlines has been using the 737 MAX again since last year. And the Brazilian airline GOL Airlines also started using this aircraft again a few months ago. In February 2021 we started operating flights with the 737 MAX again.
Q: Have your pilot received extra training to fly this aircraft again?
A: Yes, compulsory training for the pilots was one of the requirements for the reintroduction of the 737 MAX. The regulators developed a specific pilot training in close cooperation with Boeing. All pilots had to go through a theoretical training and a practical training in a certified Boeing 737 MAX simulator in order to meet the EASA requirements and guarantee the safe operation.
Q: How many Boeing 737 MAX aircraft do you have?
A: At the moment, there are four aircraft of this type in our fleet in Belgium. More information about our fleet is available here: https://www.tuifly.be/en/our-fleet.
Q: What about the maintenance of the 737 MAX aircraft that were not used in the past two years?
A: All aircraft that are on the ground are maintained in accordance with a well-defined protocol and checked on a regular basis (e.g. the engines are started up). The same procedure was applied to the four 737 MAX aircraft in our fleet.
Q: When will you start using the 737 MAX again?
A: In February 2021 we started operating flights with the 737 MAX again.
Q: For which routes will the Boeing 737 MAX be used?
A: That’s not entirely clear yet, but this type of aircraft is mainly used for flights to destinations in Europe.
Q: If I book a trip with you, can I see whether I will be travelling on board a Boeing 737 MAX?
A: At the moment of booking your trip, you can't see the type of aircraft that will be used. In any case, there’s never 100% certainly, because the type of aircraft may even change shortly before your departure due to a change in the flight schedule, for instance. Our 737 MAX aircraft are mainly used for flights to destinations within Europe.
Q: For which destinations am I sure that I will not be flying on board a 737 MAX?
A: You can only have that certainty for our long-distance flights, for which the Boeing 797-8 Dreamliner will in principle be used.
Q: If I will fly on board a 737 MAX and I don’t want to, can I cancel my trip free of charge?
A: No, it’s not possible to cancel your trip free of charge for this reason. If you booked a package holiday, you have the possibility to rebook your trip until 7 days before your departure. Click here for more information about our rebooking guarantee. If you only booked a flight, you also have the possibility to change it until 7 days before your departure. More information about the conditions is available here.
ATTENTION: Flight schedules may change, so it’s possible that your flight will be operated with another type of aircraft than originally scheduled. Especially in the busy summer season, we may have to make changes to existing flight schedules and use another aircraft. It may therefore be possible that the flight is operated with a 737 MAX.
Adjustments to MCAS software
This illustration gives an overview of the adjustments made to the MCAS software of the aircraft.
De TUI fly vloot
The TUI fly fleet
TUI fly Netherlands and TUI fly Belgium are part of TUI Benelux and have a joint fleet that flies to all destinations throughout the year. Sometimes you fly on board an aircraft that has its base in Belgium, other times on board an aircraft that has its base in the Netherlands. You can find an overview of all aircraft of the TUI Benelux fleet here.