By Tracy Rucinski
CHICAGO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - American Airlines AAL.O will begin Boeing 737 MAX training for its pilots in November, according to a memo to pilots on Monday, a sign that it believes a return to service of the grounded jet is near.
Boeing Co BA.N is awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration on proposed changes to the 737 MAX aircraft following two crashes that together killed 346 people and caused a worldwide grounding that has lasted for 18 months.
"With the planned return to service for our B737 MAX aircraft in the near future, we will begin conducting B737 MAX Special Training for our B737 pilots," Ameya Kingaonkar, director of flight training planning and scheduling, said in the memo, which was seen by Reuters.
American Airlines did not immediately comment.
In addition to software updates, Boeing has also proposed new pilot training for the aircraft which is being reviewed by civil aviation authorities and airline flight crews from the United States, Canada, Brazil and the European Union.
Though no final training program has been approved, American told its pilots to plan for sessions that will begin in November and consist of a distance learning training module that will last around 1 hour 40 minutes, as well as a simulator session entailing a 1-hour brief and a 2-hour sim event.
The airline plans to release the distance learning module by Oct. 28 and train about 1,700 pilots in November. It expects to complete all of the training by the end of January 2021, the memo said.
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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