These devices no longer fly since two fatal accidents linked to the MCAS anti-stall system.
The three main customers of the Boeing 737 MAX in the United States, the companies United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest, have officially pushed back the date of a possible return to service of the aircraft. He has been grounded for almost a year after two fatal crashes.
American Airlines announced Friday that it will exclude from its programs all flights scheduled on the aircraft until August 18. United Airlines will not resume flights on the 737 MAX until September 4. The commercial director of the company had already indicated at the end of January that the company had given up flying the plane this summer, but without specifying a date. Southwest had already postponed Thursday to August 10 the return to service of the aircraft.
The three companies previously hoped to be able to count on the 737 MAX again from the beginning of June, but Boeing is still awaiting the green light from the authorities and is currently betting on a return of the aircraft in the sky in mid-2020. Meanwhile, the Chicago automaker has already lost $ 636 million in 2019. The airlines will then have to make certain modifications to the planes included in their fleet and train the pilots who will fly them.
The entire 737 MAX fleet was banned from flying worldwide a few days after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX that killed its 157 occupants on March 10, 2019. As in the crash of Lion Air in Indonesia in October 2018, which left 189 dead, it was the MCAS anti-stall system that was questioned.
“We will continue to monitor the regulatory process and make the necessary adjustments to our operations and our schedule so that customers traveling with us are not affected”, United Airlines said in a statement. American Airlines on its side “plans to gradually reinstate MAX in its commercial flight program” throughout the month of August and until September.