American Airlines and Southwest, two major customers for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, announced that they will further extend the cancellation of the aircraft until March 2020, almost a year after the grounding.
American Airlines anticipates that the cancellation of scheduled commercial service on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will extend to March 5th 2020. We expect about 140 flights to be cancelled per day through March 5th.
American had previously cancelled service on the MAX through Jan 15th on Nov 17th. Once the aircraft is certified, American expects to run exhibition flights, or flights for American team members and invited guests only, prior to March 5th.
Southwest originally removed the MAX through Feb 8th 2020, however, based on continued uncertainty around the timing of MAX return to service, they soon plan to remove the MAX from its flight schedule through March 6th 2020.
Southwest reported that their current revision removes roughly 175 daily flights from their schedule.
The new date of 737 MAX returning service is almost a full year after they had been grounded in March. Although March 5th 2020 is the earliest possible time for the return, it is highly likely that it could be pushed back even further.
Southwest and American Airlines respectively have 310 and 100 Boeing 737 MAX orders, as two large customers of the aircraft in the US. When the aircraft was grounded, Southwest had 34 of them in their fleet.
Boeing’s plan was to get 737 MAX approved by the FAA before 2020. If this fails, they may have to further reduce monthly production or even temporarily terminate production.