Many predicted that Boeing would have gotten its act together by now and that 737 Max aircraft would be safe to fly. It's still up in the air exactly when that will be, but there is hope for the busy U.S. summer travel season.
Southwest Airlines said Thursday it has taken the grounded Boeing 737 Max out of its schedule until early June and is dropping more than 8 percent of its planned flights as a result.
With the moves, Southwest joined rivals in acknowledging that the plane won’t be ready before the start of the peak summer travel season.
Southwest said that without the planes, it will drop about 330 flights each weekday from its normal schedule of about 4,000 daily flights. That is a far higher number of cancellations than at other airlines, which don’t own as many Maxes.
Southwest had previously removed the Max from its schedule through April 13. Now it won’t use the plane through June 6. American Airlines and United Airlines, the other two U.S. carriers that own Maxes, had already dropped the plane from their plans until June.
Dallas-based Southwest is the world’s biggest operator of Boeing 737s, with about 750 in its fleet. It has 34 grounded Max jets — more than any other carrier — and expected to get more by now, but Boeing halted deliveries in April, a month after the plane was grounded worldwide.
Southwest said it is continuing to get information about the plane’s status from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Chicago-based Boeing is making changes in flight-control software and other systems on the plane after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people. The aircraft maker faces several more steps before winning FAA approval to resume flights.
This article was written by The Associated Press from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to Skift Pro
Subscribe to Skift Pro to get unlimited access to stories like these ($30/month)Subscribe Now
Photo Credit: A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max aircraft at at Renton Municipal Airport in Renton, Wash. Southwest Airlines said Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, that it has taken the grounded Boeing 737 Max out of its schedule until early June and is dropping more than 8% of its planned flights as a result. Ted S. Warren / Southwest
A New List of the Most Valuable Public Travel Companies
Old school travel companies still largely dominate in terms of stock market valuation, but there is no denying the disruption sparked by Airbnb’s debut on the stock market.
Cameron Sperance | 5 days ago
Skift Global Forum Preview: Incoming Southwest CEO Robert Jordan on Pulling Off New Service to 18 Airports in 18 Months
Incoming Southwest Airlines CEO Robert Jordan sees the pandemic's road to recovery in four stages: Survive, stabilize, repair, and prosper. Right now, he says his airline is still in the stabilize phase.
Madhu Unnikrishnan, Skift | 1 week ago
U.S. Airlines Look to Holiday Boost as Delta Variant Delays Business Travel’s Recovery
The Delta variant has set the travel recovery back with most U.S. airlines eating humble pie after overly rosy outlooks in July. With the business travel recovery delayed at least three months, the industry hopes to counter the tide of bad news with some possible year-end, holiday cheer.
Edward Russell, Skift | 2 weeks ago