Two major US airlines have again extended the cancellation of B737 Max flights from their schedules, as uncertainty continues over the return of the aircraft into service.
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have now removed the aircraft from their schedules until March 5 and March 6, 2020 respectively.
All Boeing Max aircraft have been grounded worldwide since mid-March of this year, following two fatal crashes involving the jets, and the latest decisions by AA and Southwest mean it will be nearly a whole year since they operated the aircraft.
In a statement AA said that “Based on the latest guidance, American anticipates that the resumption of scheduled commercial service on American’s fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will occur March 5, 2020”.
The airline did however say that after the aircraft has been certified, “American expects to run exhibition flights, or flights for American team members and invited guests only, prior to March 5”.
AA says that the continued removal of the B737 Max from its schedules will result in around 140 flights per day being cancelled up to March 4.
Meanwhile Southwest said that it “plans to proactively remove the Max from its flight schedule through March 6, 2020”, resulting in the cancellation of around 175 weekday flights from the carrier’s schedule, out of a total peak-day schedule of over 4,000 flights.
Last week Ryanair confirmed that it does not expect to take delivery of its first B737 Max 200 aircraft until “March/April 2020 at the earliest”.