American Airlines Extends Boeing 737 MAX Flight Cancellations Through June 5
American Airlines has confirmed on Sunday that the airline will extend 737 MAX flight cancellations through June 5. The airline had originally cancelled Boeing 737 MAX flights through April 24 with the hopes that Boeing and regulatory agencies like the FAA would resolve the issues plaguing Boeing's newest narrow-body. However, it appears that a quick fix might not be as imminent as previously thought.
In a press release, American Airlines noted that the decision to prolong 737 MAX cancellations for the next two months was made "in an effort to provide more certainty and avoid last minute flight disruptions." The airline also confirmed that approximately 90 flights each day are canceled as a result of the Boeing 737 MAX grounding.
Initial reports in the wake of the FAA's decision to ground the Boeing 737 MAX pointed towards a quick software fix that might have allowed the aircraft to return to the skies within weeks. This no longer appears to be the case as preliminary reports from the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 confirm that the Boeing 737 MAX, and not the pilots, was to blame for the crash that killed all 157 on board.
Boeing has identified a faulty sensor that is a part of the Boeing 737 MAX's MCAS, the system implicated in the crash of both Lion Air flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. The aircraft manufacturer is working to correct the MCAS in the hopes of eventually getting the aircraft to return safely to service.
As a result of the Boeing 737 MAX being grounded worldwide, airlines that operate the aircraft have suffered from operational issues as well as financial losses. American Airlines, already facing a shortage of narrow-body aircraft, has had to cancel up to 90 flights per day. Southwest Airlines has also had to cancel around 90 flights per day, and has reported that the grounding of the 737 MAX has resulted in a loss of $150 million in revenue.
American Airlines stated in Sunday's press release that the airline, "Continues to await information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), other regulatory boards, and Boeing that would permit the 24 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in [our] fleet to resume flying."
For now, American Airlines said that the airline is proactively reaching out to customers impacted by the 737 MAX flight cancellations via phone and email. American is working with impacted passengers to find alternate flights or issue full refunds should their flight be canceled as a result of the Boeing 737 MAX grounding.
Travelers concerned about whether or not their American Airlines flight is operating on time or was scheduled to be operated with a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft should check with American Airlines directly. The easiest and quickest way to check flight status is via the airline's app or by calling American Airlines directly at 1-800-433-7300.
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