American Airlines cancels all Boeing 737 Max planes through August 19

Cheryl Sanders
April 15, 2019

American Airlines Group Inc said on Sunday it is extending Boeing Co 737 MAX cancellations through August 19, leading to about 115 daily canceled flights, or 1.5 percent of its daily summer flying schedule.

Carriers that have used the aircraft since it went into service two years ago have had to rethink their flight plans since alarms were raised over its safety in the wake of two fatal crashes.

The plane's grounding has also threatened the US summer travel season, with some airlines removing the 737 from their schedules through August and canceling a number of scheduled flights.

All Boeing 737 MAX flights in the USA have been grounded since March 13, following two deadly crashes within five months that killed a total of 346 people. The FAA have convened a meeting on April 12 with safety representatives of the three US -based airlines that have the Boeing 737 MAX in their fleets, as well as the pilot unions for those airlines. On the other hand, airlines whose 371 grounded 737 MAX remain grounded have initiated compensation proceedings to collect damages from Boeing.

The airline's CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom issued a statement saying it would cancel 115 flights daily through August 19, representing approximately 1.5 of the airlines' flying each day during the summer. American Airlines still flies the Max 8 despite the crash of a similar aircraft in Ethiopika on March 10 that killed all onboard.

Boeing has been developing a software upgrade for an anti-stall system under scrutiny in two recent crashes. "Once the Max is recertified, we anticipate bringing our Max aircraft back on line as spares to supplement our operation as needed during the summer".

The airline says its reservations and sales teams will work with customers to manage their travel plans. United canceled all MAX flights through June 5, and Southwest canceled through August 5.

American also said on its website that customers could request a full refund if they chose not to be rebooked.

On Twitter, American Airlines passengers posted complaints Sunday about cancelled flights impacting vacations, speaking engagements and travel to funerals and noted problems re-booking flights.

"We're not denying that it's going to be a challenge for us", American spokesman Ross Feinstein said.

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