CHICAGO/SEATTLE (Reuters) – United Airlines said on Friday it is extending by one month its cancellations of Boeing Co 737 MAX flights, through Aug. 3, as the jetliner remains grounded following two fatal crashes.
FILE PHOTO: United Airlines planes, including a Boeing 737 MAX 9 model, are pictured at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, U.S., March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo
United, which operates 14 737 MAX jets, said the decision would lead to about 40 or 45 daily canceled flights.
The Chicago-based carrier joins rivals Southwest Airlines Co and American Airlines Group Inc which had already suspended 737 MAX flights into August as global carriers await regulatory approval for the aircraft to fly again.
The worldwide grounding in March of Boeing’s fast-selling aircraft followed a crash in Indonesia and another in Ethiopia that killed a combined 346 people.
Since the grounding, U.S. airlines have had to readjust schedules and come up with solutions in order to meet demand during the busy summer travel season.
Reuters reported on Thursday that the Federal Aviation Administration expects to approve the 737 MAX jet to return to service as soon as late June, according to people familiar with the matter.
Even so, FAA acting administrator Dan Elwell told reporters on Thursday after a meeting with international air regulators in Texas that he would not assign a specific date for the U.S. approval.
Once regulators approve the 737 MAX jets for flight, each aircraft will likely require between 100 and 150 hours of preparation before flying, in addition to pilot training, Reuters also