American and Southwest airlines continue to ground B737 MAX until March
AMERICAN Airlines and Southwest Airlines have pushed back until March the new target date to return Boeing's trouble 737 MAX aircraft to service
AMERICAN Airlines and Southwest Airlines have pushed back until March the new target date to return Boeing's trouble 737 MAX aircraft to service.
American Airlines had previously planned to return the jets to commercial service in January 2020, while Southwest was to resume service in February, reported American Shipper.
'Once the aircraft is certified [by the Federal Aviation Administration], American expects to run exhibition flights, or flights for American team members and invited guests only, prior to March 5,' the airline said in a statement on its website.
Southwest, which has more B373 MAX aircraft than any other US carrier, said in a separate statement that 'based on continued uncertainty around the timing of MAX return to service, the company soon plans to proactively remove the MAX from its flight schedule through March 6 2020.'
In March, it will have been one year since authorities grounded the jets following two fatal crashes that killed a total of 346 people. Boeing has since made changes to its flight control software to address regulators' concerns.
Both airlines' new target dates for returning the aircraft to service are pending Boeing's completion of work to resolve the safety issues and US federal regulators' verification that the work has been adequately performed, CNN reported.
A source told CNN that missing information from Boeing for a Federal Aviation Administration audit of the company's fixes to the jet delayed the agency's completion of the audit and, therefore, delayed additional tests of the software.