American Airlines Expects Boeing 737 MAX to Return to Service in Mid-January

10:51 AM, Oct 9, 2019 — American Airlines Group (AAL) on Wednesday said it expects Boeing’s (BA) 737 MAX to return to its schedule in mid-January.

“American Airlines anticipates that the impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX will lead to recertification of the aircraft later this year and resumption of commercial service in January 2020,” the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier said in a statement.

American, the largest US airline, said the grounded aircraft is expected to return to service on Jan. 16. It said it “expects to slowly phase in the MAX for commercial service and will increase flying on the aircraft throughout the month and into February.”

The airline said passengers who were booked on a MAX flight through Jan. 6 will automatically be moved to the same flight operated by a 737-800, and no rebooking will be needed. It said those booked on flights between Jan. 7 and 15 will be moved to the same flight being flown by a different aircraft, either a Boeing 737-800 or Airbus.

American had previously cancelled about 140 flights a day through Dec. 3.

Boeing’s 737 MAX has been grounded worldwide since March following two deadly crashes in five months that killed 346 in Indonesia and Ethiopia. A software failure is believed to have been a factor in the crashes, according to Boeing and regulators.

Boeing, which has said it expects the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the 737 MAX to fly in the current quarter, has developed a software fix for the planes. The FAA has not approved the fix yet.

Southwest Airlines (LUV), the carrier with the largest 737 MAX fleet, has removed the plane from its schedules until Jan. 5. United Airlines has removed the jetliner from its schedules until Dec. 19.

The union that represents Southwest pilots on Monday filed a lawsuit against Boeing for damages caused by the 737 MAX’s grounding, saying the planemaker misrepresented the aircraft’s airworthiness. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association said its members have lost more than $100 million in compensation since the grounding.

Boeing said the it believes “this lawsuit is meritless and will vigorously defend against it,” NBC News reported.

Companies: American Airlines Group, Inc.
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