Washington DC [USA], Nov 9(ANI): Two major US airlines announced plans on Friday to extend the Boeing 737 MAX cancellation period from their schedules until March 2020, raising the prospect the plane could be out of service for nearly a full year.
The MAX was grounded by regulators worldwide earlier this year after two fatal crashes killed 346 people. The Federal Aviation Administration issued its order on March 13, 2019.
Southwest Airlines, which operates the largest US-based fleet of Boeing 737 MAX jets, announced Friday it anticipates the plane returning to service on March 6, 2020. It cited "continued uncertainty around the timing of MAX returns to service" by the FAA, CNN reported. American Airlines then announced it expected to the MAX begin flying again on March 5, 2020.
The 737 MAX, Boeing's best-selling plane, has been grounded since March after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.
Speaking to ANI on Wednesday, Boeing's vice president, Darren Hulst said, "Boeing is concerned about their safety. Currently, 737 Max is grounded but we have 800 test flights on the new technology and are in touch with US regulator FAA and safety regulators across the world.""737 Max incidents have impacted us. It has impacted every single person of the Boeing Company. We will also contact the pilot community to ensure the safety of passengers," he added. (ANI)