American Airlines says it expects it will not have the Boeing 737 Max in its schedule until mid-August, the last major US airline to plan through the lucrative summer peak travel season without the new generation aircraft, which has been grounded since March 2019.
Earlier in the day United Airlines cancelled all Max flights through 4 September and on Thursday Southwest Airlines said it will not be scheduling the Max until 10 August. Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines and JetBlue Airways do not have any Max in their fleets or on order.
“American Airlines remains in continuous contact with the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation and Boeing,” the airline writes in a note on its website on 14 February. “Based on the latest guidance, the airline anticipates that the resumption of scheduled commercial service on American’s fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will occur Aug. 18, 2020.”
The Fort-Worth-based carrier has 24 Max aircraft in storage and another 76 on order from Boeing. The type’s grounding is in its 11th month following two deadly crashes, and there is no indication when it will be recertificated and return to revenue service. The Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing continue to scrutinize the Max but so far no certification flight test has been scheduled.
“American expects to gradually phase in the MAX for commercial service and will increase flying on the aircraft throughout the month of August and into September,” the airline adds. “Since American will gradually phase the MAX into our operation over the course of a month, additional refinements to our schedule may occur.”
American’s executives told analysts on its full-year earnings call on 23 January that the airline was forced to cancel about 10,000 flights alone during the final quarter of 2019 due to the grounding. The airline said it expects to book a loss in 2020 similar to the $540 full-year loss incurred in 2019.