American plane manufacturer Boeing announced a new problem with the troubled 737 Max – issue with its electrical system.
“Boeing has recommended to 16 customers that they address a potential electrical issue in a specific group of 737 Max airplanes prior to further operations,” the company said.
Airlines need to verify that one of the components of the plane’s electrical system is sufficiently grounded, Boeing stated. The company said it is working with the US Federal Aviation Administration to address the problem.
All of the planes were grounded for 20 months worldwide from March 2019 through November of 2020 following two fatal crashes that killed 346 people. Although the FAA has approved the fixes that Boeing made to the malfunctioning safety system blamed for the crashes, several other countries, including China, have yet to clear the plane to fly again. The grounding cost Boeing more than $20 billion.
Boeing did not identify which 16 airlines are affected by this alert, or how many of the planes are affected by the problem.
The issue specifically involves a backup to the main power system that powers all of the aircraft’s electrical parts.
Many airlines that own the planes have been eager to get them back in service despite having many of their planes still parked during a period of reduced air traffic caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The planes are more fuel efficient and have lower maintenance costs than earlier versions of the 737, which have remained in service during the grounding.