Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

American Airlines extends Boeing 737 Max cancellations through August

American Airlines extends Boeing 737 Max cancellations through August

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday urged Boeing Co to fix and "rebrand" its 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes, as regulators worldwide continue to work with the planemaker to review its grounded best-selling aircraft.

Senior officials at American Airlines said they were "confident" that the Boeing upgrade would be approved by U.S. aviation regulators before 19 August, despite its decision to ground its fleet of 24 planes until then.

The move is to "provide confidence" to customers during the peak summer travel season, the airline said in a letter.

Currently, Boeing has pilots from American Airlines testing a software update to the MCAS system in the simulator at the Boeing facility in Renton, Washington.

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United Airlines, with 14 MAX jets, has largely avoided cancellations by servicing MAX routes with larger 777 or 787 aircraft, but the airline president, Scott Kirby, warned last week that the strategy was costing it money and could not go on forever.

American explained on its website that not all flights previously scheduled on a MAX would be cancelled, because the airline planned to use other aircraft for some flights.

And Southwest Airlines, the other USA airline that has 737 Max 8 jets, also has canceled flights involving the aircraft through August.

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

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"We remain confident that the impending software updates, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing for the Max, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon", American said.

"My team and I are working closely with our customers to answer their questions, get their feedback and ensure those who operate the Max are prepared when the grounding is lifted and the fleet returns to flight", Muilenburg said.

The FAA initially said Boeing would complete the software fix "no later than April".

Investigators are looking at whether a software program in the passenger jet that controls the plane's nose was a factor in the two crashes. The company should fix its troubled 737 MAX and choose a new name following the Ethiopian Air Lines and Lion Air Crashes.

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"We're taking a comprehensive, disciplined approach, and taking the time to make sure we get it right", he said.

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