WORLD United Airlines pulls Boeing 737 MAX jets until early June

WORLD

United Airlines pulls Boeing 737 MAX jets until early June

CGTN

06:02, December 22, 2019

7b5ef097346045da97525d78aab6da9c.png

(Photo: CGTN)

United Airlines Holdings Inc said on Friday it is extending cancellations of Boeing 737 MAX flights from early March until June 4, the longest that any U.S. carrier is scheduling without the grounded aircraft.

The decision follows comments from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it still has nearly a dozen steps to complete before approving the jets for flight after a mid-March global safety ban in the wake of two fatal crashes. Reuters reported earlier U.S. officials do not expect the FAA to allow flights until at least February and it could slip to March.

Boeing said last week that it was freezing 737 production in January as the fallout from the two crashes, one in Indonesia and another in Ethiopia that killed a combined total of 346 people, drags on.

Without the 737 MAX, United said it is cancelling about 56 flights a day in January and February, which tend to be slower travel months, with daily cancellations rising to 80 in March and April and 108 in May and the early part of June.

"With the MAX return to service date still unknown, pushing our timeline back to early June is what is best for our customers and our operation. By moving the return to service date back more than just a month - as we have done previously throughout 2019 - it allows us to have more certainty by providing our customers and our operation a firmer and more definitive timeline," United spokesman Frank Benenati said.

Southwest Airlines Co and American Airlines Group Inc, the other two U.S. carriers that had 737 MAX jets in their fleets at the time of the grounding, are scheduling without the aircraft until early April.

Boeing said it deeply regrets "the disruption that the 737 MAX grounding is causing our customers and their passengers. We are working with all of our customers to support them through this difficult time."

Related Stories

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue