American, Southwest delay return of 737 Max

Boeing 737 MAX Southwest

The planes have been grounded globally on condition that mid-March pursuing two crashes that killed 346 folks.

Aside from that, the Southwest and American, had also been taking heavy hits in to their profits as they had to grapple with a growing number of passengers during holiday seasons with slimmer fleets.

Southwest cited "continued uncertainty around the timing of Max return to service" in its decision to extend cancellations by another month, the longest delay for any USA carrier. Southwest and American, the two largest United States operators of the aircraft, have had to scale back growth plans and are together canceling more than 300 flights a day, taking a hit to profits as they manage slimmer fleets without the 737 MAX.

United Airlines and American Airlines, the other two US 737 MAX operators, have thus far canceled flights into January, although they may yet have to extend that time frame.

Southwest said Friday that it will keep its Max out of its schedule until March 6, about a month longer than previously planned, citing continued uncertainty.


The documentation, which was the latest setback, has raised questions into when Boeing can complete a certification test flight and get the plane approved to resume flying, and whether that could happen before 2020. The Federal Aviation Administration has said it would not unground the planes until 30 days after that flight occurs.

The revision will remove an estimated 175 weekday flights from its schedule out of roughly 4,000 daily flights.

Southwest parked its 34 Max planes in March, and had been scheduled to receive 41 more this year. But even that date could be moved back, Southwest said. The carrier had targeted capacity growth this year as it expands into Hawaii.

Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly has said he is "not happy" with the MAX situation.

Southwest also said it would not be able to make operational revenue forecasts in the first quarter of 2020 due to the issue. Boeing is discussing compensation with airlines but no agreement has been reached.

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