American joins United in cancelling MAX flights until November

July 15, 2019
Boeing MAX 737
Photo: Boeing

American Airlines has joined United Airlines in extending the cancellation of 737 MAX flights through to November.

United announced last week that it was extending cancellation through to November 3, affecting about 2100 flights during September and 2900 in October.

READ: Boeing boost as IAG confirms MAX plans, Ryanair says it wants more planes.

“We are continuing to work through the schedule to try and swap and upgauge aircraft to mitigate the disruption caused by the grounding of the MAX,” United said in a statement.

“We continue to automatically book affected customers on alternate flights. If we are unable to place them on a different flight, we will proactively reach out to try and offer other options.”

American on Sunday said it was extending cancellation of MAX flights through to November 2, affecting about 115 flights a day.

“American Airlines remains confident that impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year,’’  the airline said on its website.

“ We are in continuous contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other regulatory authorities.”

The airline said the extension meant customers and staff could more reliably plan upcoming travel.

“Our reservations and sales teams will continue to work closely with customers who are impacted by these cancellations,’’ it said.

Both airlines have been unable to fly their 737 MAX aircraft since they were grounded in March in the wake of two fatal crashes in less than five months.

Boeing has been working on a fix to flight control software that would prevent a recurrence of the tragedies, but it is not clear when it will get regulatory approval.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary told AirlineRatings last week getting a dependable timeline of the MAX return to service was now a priority.

”We don’t have that much faith in the dates given by Boeing,” he said. “At the moment they say it’s the end of September.”