American Airlines plans to return Boeing 737 Max to service at year-end

The Boeing 737 MAX, including that of American Airlines aircraft, has been grounded since March 2019 after two fatal crashes killed 346 people. (AFP)
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Updated 18 October 2020

American Airlines plans to return Boeing 737 Max to service at year-end

  • Airline to operate a daily 737 Max flight between Miami and New York from Dec. 29 to Jan. 4

American Airlines plans to return Boeing 737 Max jets to service for passenger flights by the end of this year depending on certification of the aircraft from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it said on Sunday.
The airline said it will operate a daily 737 Max flight between Miami and New York from Dec. 29 to Jan. 4, with flights available for booking from Oct. 24.
“We remain in contact with the FAA and Boeing on the certification process and we’ll continue to update our plans based on when the aircraft is certified,” the company said in a statement.
The Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded since March 2019 after two fatal crashes killed 346 people, but the FAA is expected to lift its grounding order at some point in November.
American Airlines said it will make customers aware that they are flying on a 737 MAX.


Saudi PIF seeks investment flexibility with $5 billion-plus loan

Updated 04 December 2020

Saudi PIF seeks investment flexibility with $5 billion-plus loan

  • The loan finances are for use if and when the fund identifies investment opportunities 
  • PIF  is at the heart of the Kingdom’s strategy of economic diversification under its Vision 2030 reform plan

DUBAI: The Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is in talks with bankers to raise a loan of between $5 billion (SR18.75 billion) and $7 billion to provide flexibility in its investment strategy.

The PIF has declined to comment on reports of the loan, said to be in the form of a revolving facility from a number of international banks, but sources said it was part of the fund’s regular financing arrangements, which have seen it take out and repay facilities for the past two years.

The loan finances are for use if and when the fund identifies investment opportunities and may not necessarily be used.

The PIF has been opportunistic during the coronavirus pandemic in identifying what it saw as undervalued assets on global stock markets and has been an active trader in securities on international markets.

The fund invested $7 billion in mainly US stocks in the first quarter of the year, when markets were first impacted by pandemic lockdowns, and increased and diversified that in the second quarter. It scaled back its commitments in the third quarter when asset values were near all-time highs. In the summer, it spent $1.5 billion to acquire a stake in the Indian digital business Jio Platforms.

PIF, under governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, is at the heart of the Kingdom’s strategy of economic diversification under its Vision 2030 reform plan, while simultaneously building an international portfolio of assets.

Earlier this year, PIF repaid a $10 billion syndicated loan ahead of schedule after it completed the sale of its stake in SABIC to Saudi Aramco, and in 2018 it raised an $11 billion term-loan facility from international banks.

Previous fundraisings were done in partnership with a group of 10 banks from the US, Europe, and Asia that form part of the fund’s “core banking relationships.”