American Airlines announced on Sunday a fourth extension of its flight cancellations as a result of a new flaw discovered last month in the now-infamous Boeing 737 MAX jets, which have been grounded worldwide since March.
Back in June, American was the first U.S. carrier to extend cancellations of those flights that were previously scheduled to be flown using Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, at that time anticipating their grounding to last through Labor Day.
Now, following Boeing's announcement that fixes to the 737 MAX aircraft would not be completed by the end of summer, American has had to make a fourth extension of the planned non-operation of the 24 Boeing 737 MAX planes in its fleet of more than 900 aircraft.
American, the world's largest airline and the second-largest 737 MAX operator in the United States, estimated that the continued suspension of these planes from its schedule through November 2, 2019, will cause approximately 115 flights to be canceled per day.
"American Airlines remains confident that impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year," the airline said in a statement today.
Earlier this month, American also became the first U.S. airline forced to suspend an entire route-its nonstop service between Oakland and Dallas/Ft. Worth-owing to the need to reallocate alternative aircraft models to cover its other routes.
United Airlines, which itself operates a total of fourteen 737 MAX planes, also announced this week its continued cancellations of its own flights using said aircraft through November 3.
The prolonged disruption to American's operations doesn't exactly come as a surprise, seeing as American will need something like 30 to 45 days to provide additional training to its more than 4,000 Boeing 737 MAX pilots, even after officials finally clear the planes to fly again. According to CNBC News, American CEO Doug Parker had told employees last month that the company was already prepared for the effects of the jets' grounding to last beyond September.
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