American Airlines has further extended cancellations of its Boeing 737 Max flights until the first week of September, according to a statement from the Fort Worth-based carrier.
In March, the airline said it was “proactively” cancelling 90 flights each day between then and April 24 due to the grounding of its fleet of 24 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Those cancellations were then extended into June, and then until August 19. This latest extension adds just over two weeks, until September 3.
“By extending the cancellations, our customers and team members can more reliably plan their upcoming travel on American. In total, approximately 115 flights per day will be cancelled through Sept. 3,” American Airlines said in a statement.
Not all fights that were previously scheduled on a Max will be canceled, as the airline plans to substitute other aircraft types. Some customers may find their flights booked on other non-Max aircraft types canceled. This is because American Airlines may decide to cancel a non-Max flight so that it can cover a Max route with a different aircraft.
“Our goal is to minimize the impact to the smallest number of customers,” the airline said. American’s Reservations team will contact affected customers directly by e-mail or telephone. Customers who booked through a travel agent will be contacted by their agency directly.
The 737 Max fleet was grounded worldwide after a pair of crashes that investigators worry could be related to the flight-control software installed on the jets. An Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crashed on March 10, killing 157 people, and a Lion Air 737 Max crashed in Indonesia on October 29, killing all 189 passengers and crew members.
Despite extending its Max cancellations until September, American Airlines said it still has confidence in the upcoming fixes for the Max. “American Airlines remains confident that impending software updates to the Boeing 737 Max, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon,” the airline said.
“We have been in continuous contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other regulatory authorities, and we are pleased with the progress to date.”