United will scrap 8,000 flights due to grounded Boeing jets

Andrew Cummings
July 13, 2019

United Airlines extended its grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft through early November amid continued testing of the beleaguered passenger jet, the Chicago-based company announced Friday.

The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March after an Ethiopian Airlines plane plunged to the ground soon after take-off, five months after a similar Lion Air fatal crash off the coast of Indonesia.

United had previously removed the Boeing 737 Max jet from its flight schedule through August 3, but this new batch of cancellations moves that deadline back to November 3.

The 34-year Boeing executive has been in the post for about a year.

Lindblad has been in the job less than a year, taking over as Boeing struggled with shortages of engines and fuselages from suppliers.

Jenks faces "daunting challenges, including untangling a backlog of undelivered planes, getting production back on course for planned output increases, and finishing development of the 737 MAX 10", sources told Reuters.

Lindblad, 57, "shared with me his desire to retire past year, and we will now begin to embark on a thoughtful and seamless transition plan", Kevin McAllister, who runs the planemaker's $60 billion commercial division said in a message to employees Thursday.

"Let me be clear - the NMA team will continue to operate as a program, and I am looking forward to Mike's leadership in this important effort", McAllister said. Jenks has been credited with turning around the 787 Dreamliner program, and his appointment on the NMA was seen as key to putting the potential twin-aisle aircraft on a path to a rapid launch.

Boeing Co. shares rose $6.70, or 1.9 per cent, to close at $359.

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