Close sidebar

American Airlines pushes back Boeing 737 MAX return until Jan 2020

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 10, 2019
A file image of an American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8. (Rob Finlayson)
A file image of an American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8. (Rob Finlayson)

American Airlines has extended the cancellation of its Boeing 737 MAX-operated flights until January 16 2020.

The updated schedules announced on Wednesday (US time) is two months later than the airline’s previous cancellation period of the trouble-plagued aircraft until November that was made in July.

American Airlines said the cancellations for its 737 MAX fleet until January 16 2020 represented about 140 flights per day.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Passengers booked on a flight that was scheduled to be operated by a 737 MAX would be “automatically accommodated on the same flights operated by a 737-800 with the same seat configuration”, American said in a statement on its website.

“American Airlines anticipates that the impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX will lead to recertification of the aircraft later this year and resumption of commercial service in January 2020,” the airline said.

“We are in continuous contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DOT).”

A file image of a American Airlines Boeing 737-800. (Rob Finlayson)
American Airlines is substituting the Boeing 737 MAX 8 with the 737-800, pictured. (Rob Finlayson)

In August, Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said he hoped to have the aircraft back in the air by the end of calendar 2019.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The aerospace giant has been working on software improvements and changes to pilot training procedures following the two fatal crashes involving the 737 MAX.

The first accident involving a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 occurred in October 2018. This was followed less than six months later with an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 in March 2019. The two tragedies killed 346 people. There were no survivors.

An anti-stall software on the 737 MAX, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), has been implicated in both incidents.

American Airlines had 24 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet when the type was grounded. It has a further 76 on order.

The airline said it expected to slowly phase in the 737 MAX into its operations once the aircraft was cleared to return to commercial service over the rest of January and into February.

“Since American will slowly phase the MAX in our operation over the course of a month, additional refinements to our schedule may occur through Feb. 12,” American Airlines said. “Affected customers will be contacted directly.”

Media reports indicated American Airlines cancelled 9,475 flights in the three months to September 30 2019, which resulted in a hit to pretax income of about US$140 million.

A file image of American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 N314RH. (Nathan Coats/Commons Wikimedia)
A file image of American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 N314RH. (Nathan Coats/Commons Wikimedia)

Sign up to our digital magazine before 30 June and receive a FREE print edition. Starting at just $99.95 a year, you will get the latest news and insights direct to you, including Australia’s most popular print magazine since 1977. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

American Airlines pushes back Boeing 737 MAX return until Jan 2020 Comment

  • Col

    says:

    737 Max still makes me nervous, I am currently booking a trip to Calgary Canada from Brisbane and the last leg from either Vancouver or SF uses an airline that has 737 Max in its fleet. Not sure if I want to take that chance just in case that’s what I get.

Leave a Comment to Col Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year