An American Airlines’ Boeing 737 Max 8.
- American Airlines flew the first scheduled passenger flight in 21 months of the Boeing 737 Max in the US on Tuesday from Miami to New York.
- The uneventful flight marked the beginning of a new chapter for the aircraft that aims to restore confidence from the traveling public.
- Airlines like American are eager to get the plane flying to take advantage of its economics and get the grounding behind them.
- The aircraft was grounded for 20 months following two fatal crashes that took the lives of 346 passengers.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Boeing 737 Max saga is finally over for American Airlines as the aircraft’s first flight with paying passengers just landed safely at New York’s LaGuardia Airport after a 3-hour flight from Miami.
American flight 718, a likely homage to one of New York’s area codes, departed Miami onboard just on a routine flight up the East Coast with just 83 passengers, including American Airlines President Robert Isom, on Tuesday. The aircraft quickly climbed to 39,000 feet while hugging the coast, Flightradar 24 data shows, and settled in for the familiar yet monumental journey that would represent a second chance to the ill-fated aircraft.
It was one of the 11 daily flights American would operate between the two cities but arguably the most-watched flight of the day as the first one carrying paying passengers on the jet in the US since March 2019. The two-year-old aircraft operating the flight was delivered to American in May 2018, according to Planespotters.net, but has sat idle on the ground longer than it’s been flying, enduring a 20-month grounding alongside 24 compatriots.
The weeks leading up to this first flight saw American eagerly work to return its Max aircraft to flying service, starting with implementing the required fixes mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Once its first few aircraft were in compliance, American began demonstration flights with employees and media, including Business Insider senior reporter David Slotnick.
It’s the day that American has been waiting for since March 2019, but the Max’s story began long before that with a phone call from then-American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey to Boeing back in 2011. Arpey had pressured Boeing to produce a new fuel-efficient aircraft to rival the next-generation A320neo aircraft being produced by Airbus, which American was considering purchasing at the time.
American was placing a massive order for hundreds of new planes and Boeing was at risk to miss out if it didn’t act quickly. The manufacturer was considering a clean-slate aircraft but American had forced its hand in pulling the trigger on a re-engined version of the popular 737 Next Generation, and the result was the Boeing 737 Max we know today.
“American is pleased to be the first airline to commit to Boeing’s new 737 family offering, which is expected to provide a new level of economic efficiency and operational performance, pending final confirmation of the program by Boeing,” the airline said in a statement, committing to the Max before it was known as the Max.
As Boeing soon found, however, developing the new jet wasn’t as simple as giving it new, fuel-efficient engines as the aircraft’s design needed to be adjusted. The new placement of the engines caused the plane to pitch up and fly differently than the current-generation 737s, prompting Boeing to install a quasi-autopilot system known as Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System to angle the plane down, unbeknownst to the pilots.
It was important that the Max flew just like its predecessor so pilots could fly both interchangeably with very little additional training. This was a key selling feature of the aircraft as it could keep training costs down for airlines.
An airline like American could train its pilots on the Boeing 737 using its existing training scheme and only require pilots to undergo minimal computer-based training to fly the Max at limited additional cost to the airline. It’s not uncommon as Airbus has a similar setup for its Airbus A320 and A320neo family aircraft since the cockpits are nearly identical.
But the system ended up working against Boeing as sensor failures inadvertently activated and crashed two airliners carrying a total of 346 people. Boeing spent over a year working on fixes before the Federal Aviation Administration was satisfied enough to begin test flights in late September.
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, a former airline pilot, was at the helm for one of them to personally vouch for the aircraft’s safety. His agency had come under scrutiny for not properly regulating Boeing, mishandling the certification process for the 737 Max, and more recently, mishandling the recertification process, as a US Senate report found.
Building back the Max in the US
American is the first US airline to resume service with what is arguably the most infamous aircraft of the modern era, rushing to launch the aircraft in 2020 ahead of its competitors. Brazil’s Gol Linhas Aéreas was the first airline to resume flying the Max, operating the first flight on December 9, followed by Aeromexico on December 29.
United Airlines won’t be flying the aircraft for another month, planning to fly the Max from Houston and Denver starting February 11, 2021. Southwest Airlines, while maintaining the largest Boeing 737 Max fleet before the pandemic, hasn’t yet announced a start date or loaded the aircraft into its schedule, the most recent Cirium data shows.
Alaska Airlines has a tentative start date of March 1, 2021, for the aircraft where it will fly routes across the West Coast. The first model is set to arrive at Alaska in January, after which the airline has promised extensive proving runs of over 50 hours across 19,000 miles.
Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at Teal Group, told Business Insider that there are two likely reasons for American’s haste in restoring the Max to service: fuel prices and seasonality. The aircraft has economic benefits that airlines can’t afford to pass up and the Max can hedge against rising fuel prices thanks to its fuel efficiency.
“There is a concern that fuel prices are nudging upwards again, and might go higher again with the recovery,” Aboulafia said.
American is also basing the aircraft in Miami, which has experienced a surge of travelers looking to escape the hardest-hit cities of the pandemic. Having the Max can help increase margins on routes to South Florida, and other popular locales like St. Thomas and St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands where American plans to fly the jet come January.
All four US airlines flying the Boeing 737 Max, however, have vowed flexibility for passengers who prefer not to fly on the aircraft. Passengers finding themselves on the aircraft can make free changes to other aircraft.
The successful first flight begins the long road to restoring consumer confidence in the jet. While some view the aircraft as the “single most scrutinized jet in history,” as Aboulafia said, others are actively avoiding it as the Max has had staying power in the minds of the traveling public unlike any other grounded aircraft in recent years.
American will fly the plane exclusively between New York and Miami until January 5, 2021, when more routes will see the plane. And the Max name isn’t keeping many away as the return flight from New York to Miami is reportedly “booked solid.”
AI Drug Development Investments Accelerated in 2020
MILTON KEYNES, England, Dec. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The market for AI in Drug Development had a record year in 2020 with $2.9B new funding and a…
MILTON KEYNES, England, Dec. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The market for AI in Drug Development had a record year in 2020 with $2.9B new funding and a total funding in the industry reaching $9.2B. But while the annual investment value is reaching new heights, the number of funding rounds has continued its downfall. Emersion Insights has analysed the investment landscape and categorised the industry into Information Engines, Drug Design and Clinical Trials.
Most Funded Vendors in 2020
Information Engines are artificial intelligence platforms that aggregate and analyse information and real-world evidence from multiple sources such as scientific literature, patient data and clinical trials to find new associations and guide discovery or clinical trial optimisation. In this category, Tempus, ConcertAI, Nference, DNAnexus and Owkin received most funding in 2020.
Drug Design applications are using AI to develop new molecules, predict and optimise drug specificity and efficacy or identify drug repurposing options for existing drugs. Drug Design companies received more than 60% of the total investments in 2020, with XtalPi, AbCellera, Recursion, Erasca and Insitro being the most funded companies in 2020.
Clinical Trial applications help optimise the trial process by improving patient stratification to get the right patients for the right trials, optimise enrolment and retention, or help reduce the number of patients needed for a trial. In this category, Medable, Biofourmis, Unlearn.AI, Inato and Novadiscovery received most funding in 2020.
Increasing Consolidation, But Still Opportunities for New Entrants
Although the investment amount increased significantly in 2020, the number of deals per year has decreased since 2018. The funding rounds are getting bigger but fewer, and the investments are often going to a few established players.
Actually, the most funded vendors Tempus, Relay Therapeutics, Genuity Science, Recursion Pharmaceuticals and XtalPi have altogether received 28% of the total investment in the industry.
But although the industry is seeing increased consolidation, there are still opportunities for innovative new entrants. Some of the companies that received seed funding in 2020 include Dyno Therapeutics and Menten AI using AI to develop new drugs, and Phenomic AI and Massive Bio with their information engines for oncology drug discovery and clinical trial matching.
More Research Available
Emersion Insights specialise in strategic market intelligence for investors and entrepreneurs. Our market report “AI in Drug Development” includes detailed investment analysis, market sizing, forecasting and strategic insights to help navigate this fast-moving industry. Reach out for more information: www.emersioninsights.io
Dr Ulrik Kristensen
+44 1908 440005
View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ai-drug-development-investments-accelerated-in-2020-301199021.html
SOURCE Emersion Insights
Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.
Facebook to shut down Irish holding companies amid disputes over tax payments in Europe
Facebook logo is seen displayed on a phone screen in photo taken in Poland on November 29, 2020. Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images Face…
Facebook logo is seen displayed on a phone screen in photo taken in Poland on November 29, 2020.
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
- Facebook is shutting down its Irish subsidiary following mounting pressure from regulators over the way it pays taxes in the EU.
- The firm’s Irish holding company brought in around $30 billion of revenue in 2018 – more than half of the firm’s total annual turnover of $56 billion.
- A Facebook spokesperson said the move was ‘consistent with recent and upcoming tax law changes’ advocated by policymakers around the world.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Facebook is winding down its Irish holding company in light of wider disputes over the way it pays taxes in the the European Union.
In 2018, the social networking giant’s Irish subsidiary paid just $101 million in tax, while recording profits of more than $15 billion.
The subsidiary, Facebook International Holdings I Unlimited Company, also brought in around $30 billion of revenue, accounting for more than half of the firm’s total annual turnover of $56 billion.
In a statement to The Times in London, a Facebook spokesperson said the Irish entity “was wound up as part of a change that best aligns with our operating structure.” They added: “We believe it is consistent with recent and upcoming tax law changes that policymakers are advocating for around the world.”
Big Tech companies face mounting pressure on the continent, where regulators are reevaluating the responsibilities large platforms should have on everything from data-sharing to misinformation.
At the end of last year, Google moved its own intellectual property holdings from Ireland back to the US, after regulators moved to phase out a loophole allowing US companies to delay paying taxes.
The tax strategy was legal and allowed Google to avoid triggering US income taxes, or European withholding taxes on the funds, which represent the bulk of its overseas profits.
Facebook’s decision comes just months after the firm launched legal action against Ireland’s data regulator, which is also trying to prevent EU user data being sent across to the US.
The firm’s lawyer Paul Sreenan told Ireland’s High Court the decision could have “devastating consequences” and mean Facebook’s core app and Instagram being kicked out of the EU all together.
Business Insider approached Facebook for further comment.
Why Clean Harbors Is Needham’s Top 2021 Pick
Clean Harbors Inc’s (NYSE:CLH) stock has declined by 12% year-to-date versus a 15% gain in the S&P 500 index, underperforming many …
Clean Harbors Inc’s (NYSE:CLH) stock has declined by 12% year-to-date versus a 15% gain in the S&P 500 index, underperforming many of its peers, according to Needham.
The Clean Harbors Analyst: James Ricchiuti maintained a Buy rating on Clean Harbors and raised the price target from $75 to $91.
The Clean Harbors Thesis: COVID-19-related factors adversely impacted the company’s stock through 2020, Ricchiuti said in a Monday note.
The improving economic outlook in 2021 bodes well for Clean Harbors’ Environmental Services business, the analyst said.
“With improving macro data, including higher manufacturing output, we expect CLH’s core incineration and landfill services to see stronger demand in 2021. Even if the recent COVID spike causes the recovery to pause, CLH has something of a natural hedge in the ES business, as it will likely drive more high-margin COVID emergency response business,” he said.
Ricchiuti expressed optimism regarding the company’s Safety-Kleen business prospects in 2021, citing an upturn in base oil prices and a rebound in vehicle miles driven.
CLH Price Action: Shares of Clean Harbors were up 1.04% at $76.08 at last check.
Photo courtesy of Clean Harbors.
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