American Airlines joined United in canceling flights onboard the 737 Max through at least November, the airline announced Sunday. The decision will likely cause a ripple effect of delayed travel for months to come.
In mid-March, airline companies grounded the worldwide fleet of Boeing 737 Max planes following two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. Since the Ethiopian crash, experts from Boeing have worked tirelessly alongside FAA officials to find an answer. Boeing announced it found a software fix for the glitch that allegedly caused both crashes.
However, the FAA announced in late June it found another “potential risk that Boeing must mitigate.” The new issue affects the plane’s ability to quickly and easily follow recovery procedures for runaway stabilizer trim and stabilize the aircraft.”
Beyond the mechanical issues, consumer confidence is still down about the plane, thus leading to further cancelations from airlines.
On Friday, United announced it will cancel the use of the 737 Max through November 3. According to the airline, that will account for 2,100 cancellations in September and 2,900 in October.
“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.”
On Sunday, American Airlines said the same.
American said it is confident in the software update and new pilot training protocols,USA Today reported. However, it added it will continue the cancelations to allow travelers to feel safe on the planes and so they can have "more reliably'' for fall travel.
The decision will amount to 115 canceled flights per day in October and the first few days of November. Travelers whose flights are affected can either rebook or request a refund.
Southwest is expected to put the Boeing 737 Max into use on October 1, barring any further decision to delay there, too.
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