United extends 737 Max cancellations through early August as Boeing plane remains grounded


An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight from Los Angeles lands at Reagan National Airport shortly after an announcement was made by the FAA that the planes were being grounded by the United States in Washington, March 13, 2019.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

United Airlines will extend flight cancellations through Aug. 3 as its 14 Boeing 737 Max jets remain grounded.

The move will result in 2,400 cancellations in the next couple months and comes a day after the Federal Aviation Administration’s acting head said airlines don’t need to extend flight cancellations for Max flights. The FAA has no timetable for re-certifying the Max.

United joins other major airlines like American and Southwest, who have canceled thousands of flights during the busy summer travel season and removed the Max from schedules through August.

Investigators believe the jet’s MCAS flight control system, which automatically pushes the plane’s nose down to prevent a stall, was implicated in two fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed 346 people combined.

Since the grounding in mid-March, Boeing said it completed its software fix, but has yet to validate it through a re-certification flight nor file it for official re-certification.

United CEO Oscar Munoz said this week that he plans to fly on the first 737 Max flight when the plane is put back in service. United has also said it would rebook passengers who don’t want to fly on the Max jets.

Other major airline executives have committed to Boeing and pledged to help restore public confidence in the jets after re-certification.

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