American Airlines cancels 737 Max flights through August

American Airlines cancels 737 Max flights through August

America's leading airline had previously only planned to keep the planes out of commission until June 5, with Boeing facing intense scrutiny after 157 people died in an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash on March 10 - the second deadly crash involving the aircraft in five months.

Southwest Airlines announced on Thursday that it has modified its schedule to account for the 737 MAX aircraft being grounded into the first week of August.

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

In October a 737 Max 8 flown by Indonesian airline Lion Air crashed, claiming the lives of 189 people.

The cancellations represent 1.5 per cent of American's total flights each day of the (northern) summer.

"Based upon our ongoing work with the FAA and Boeing, we are highly confident that the MAX will be re-certified prior to this time", they said in a statement posted on the company's website.

They added that the airline has been in close contact with the FAA, the Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board and global regulators and are "pleased with the progress so far".

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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.

Boeing's anti-stall software is at the center of investigations into last month's Ethiopian Airlines crash.

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. The software fix is to include changes to prevent the system from overreacting to bad data, a new set of cockpit alerts created to make pilots aware of potentially unsafe situations, and a new pilot training course.

Southwest Airlines also removed the Max jet from its schedule through August 5, and United canceled Max flights through June 5, according to the report.

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

Park said canceling the flights now will help the airline plan for its busiest travel season of the year, CNBC reported.

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