Southwest Airlines Joins US Airlines Pushing 737 MAX Return to November

Jul 18, 2019

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Southwest Airlines has joined its peers in pushing the return of the Boeing 737 MAX to November, a month later than previous expectations.

The Dallas-based airline has removed the aircraft from schedules through Nov. 2, it said Thursday. American Airlines and United Airlines have already cut the MAX from their schedules through the same date.

“With the timing of the MAX’s return-to-service still uncertain, we are again revising our plans to remove the MAX from our schedule,” Southwest says in a statement.

Regulators continue to evaluate Boeing’s software update for the 737 MAX. While the focus has been on fixing the flawed Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, other issues have been found potentially requiring additional software updates before the aircraft can return to service.

Southwest operated 34 737 MAX 8 when the aircraft was grounded in March. As a result it has cancelled thousands of flights  and, more recently, temporarily suspended at least 13 routes.

Neither the Federal Aviation Administration, nor other aviation regulators, have provided a timeline for when the aircraft could return to service.

Featured image by Mark Ralston/Getty Images.

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