The travel industry has an important role to play in reassuring the travelling public when Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft are allowed to fly again, the Barclays Travel Forum was told.

The world’s entire fleet of the next generation aircraft has been grounded since shortly after a Ethiopian Airlines crash in March following a Lion Air crash last October.

The aircraft’s fly-by-wire technology was blamed for the accidents and regulators around the globe grounded them.

Boeing has acknowledged the role software played in both crashes and is working on a resolution, but the ban is expected to continue until August this year.

Deloitte partner and head of travel Alistair Pritchard told the Barclays event in London yesterday that there are 5,000 of such aircraft on order by airlines.

“There is a role here for the whole travel industry to play in restoring consumer confidence in travelling,” Pritchard said.

“Many airlines are reliant on these new aircraft. If consumer confidence is not there, there is no ability to replace those aircraft with others.

“That will mean airlines will have to fly much older aircraft which is much more expensive and more importantly does not start to meet some of the environmental challenges that the 737 Max will meet.”

More from Barclays Travel Forum:
Fear over impact of discounts and zero deposits

Deloitte upbeat about travel despite challenges