Travel United pushes 737 Max return until fall, leaving it short on planes for summer travel rush
The head of Southwest's pilots union said Boeing is trying to rush the 737 Max back into service out of 'arrogance'
Southwest is the airline that has more 737 Max planes — which are currently grounded worldwide — than any other airline.The head of the pilots union for Southwest Airlines issued a sharp criticism of Boeing, accusing the aviation giant of trying to artificially speed up the return of the plane.
For the second year in a row, it looks like airlines and travelers are going to be hamstrung by the Boeing 737 Max crisis for peak summer travel season.
United Airlines on Wednesday became the first U.S. carrier to say it plans to remove the plane from its schedule through the summer. The move follows Boeing’sTuesday that it doesn’t expect regulators to approve the plane’s return until mid-2020, a few months later than it most recently anticipated.
“We do not anticipate flying the Max this summer,’’ Andrew Nocella, United’s chief commercial officer, said on the airline’s quarterly earnings conference call.
Boeing quietly unveiled a new version of the 737 Max, even though it is still grounded around the world
Rather than the usual fanfare and excitement surrounding the launch of a new plane model, Boeing barely publicized the launch of the Max 10.At a low-key ceremony at its headquarters in Renton, Washington, attended mainly by employees, Boeing released the 737 Max 10, the largest version of the Max yet.
United President Scott Kirby said the airline is encouraged by what it hopes is Boeing’s “more realistic timeline’’ and plans to soon announce that it is again pushing back the Max’s return to United’s schedule.
He said doing so will give United time to get its grounded 737 Max 9s back up and running and schedule pilot classroom andfor the plane.
The airline did not provide further details and the schedule has not yet been changed. United, along with American and Southwest airlines, currently has the plane scheduled to return in.
Airlines have had to repeatedly scramble to adjust their schedules since the Max wasfollowing two fatal crashes that killed 346 people in five months. The number of proactive fight cancellations is now in the tens of thousands.
No, the Boeing 737 that crashed in Iran was not a 737 Max
Details are scarce about the Ukrainian Boeing 737 that crashed shortly after takeoff in Iran, but this much is certain: It was not a Boeing 737 Max.The troubled Max has been grounded worldwide since March following two fatal crashes in less than five months that killed 346 people. It will not return to the skies until it is recertified by the FAA and aviation authorities around the world.
United also said that the Max grounding has delayed its plans to add flights at some of its hubs.
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