The Boeing 737 MAX cancellations will continue through the new year and at least one airline is keeping them grounded even longer to avoid disruptions down the line.
Southwest Airlines was the first to announce another delay in returning the questionable aircraft to service. Airlines are currently waiting for approval from the Federal Aviation Administration regarding a software fix intended to correct the problems the 737 MAX has faced. Southwest previously planned to return the aircraft to service in early January, but it now plans on Feb. 8.
“By proactively removing the MAX from scheduled service, we can reduce last-minute flight cancellations and unexpected disruptions to our Customers’ travel plans,” Southwest Airlines said in a news release. The revision will remove about 175 daily flights from the schedule.
Earlier this month, American Airlines released a statement asserting its belief the aircraft will return to service Jan. 16. American Airlines plans to slowly begin reintroducing the aircraft at that time. The fleet should be fully integrated by February, the airline said.
United Airlines joins American and Southwest in removing the aircraft until January at the earliest. FAA officials have not given a definitive timeline for when the industry should expect the aircraft to return to service.
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