Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

American Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX cancellations through August 19

American Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX cancellations through August 19

Amid the ongoing Boeing 737 MAX scandal, the company's share price has plummeted and worldwide fleets of the problematic plane are grounded, but one unlikely source has offered some advice: Donald Trump. "Based upon our ongoing work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing, we are highly confident that the MAX will be recertified prior to this time (August 19)", he said.

But by extending cancellations through the summer, the airline can plan more reliably for the peak travel season, said Doug Parker, American's chairman and CEO, and Robert Isom, its president, in a letter to employees on Sunday (local time).

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 operated by Indonesia's Lion Air crashed in the Java Sea on October 12, killing all 189 people on board.

Boeing has been developing a software upgrade for an anti-stall system under scrutiny in two recent crashes. But operators of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX are facing a different problem: scarce planes and booming demand.

United Airlines, with 14 MAX jets, has largely avoided cancellations by servicing MAX routes with larger 777 or 787 aircraft, but the airline president, Scott Kirby, warned last week that the strategy was costing it money and could not go on forever.

American Airlines had lowered one of its first quarter indicators in light of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes being grounded, along with the partial United States government shutdown and technical challenges.

"My team and I are working closely with our customers to answer their questions, get their feedback and ensure those who operate the Max are prepared when the grounding is lifted and the fleet returns to flight", Muilenburg said.

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Investigators are focusing on the plane's anti-stall software, the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

The grounding of the 737 MAX has caused Southwest to cancel thousands of flights in their first quarter.

CNBC reported Boeing said Thursday it has completed 96 flights with the new Max software fix.

Boeing is expected to submit a software update to the FAA in the next few weeks for review and possibly approval.

Donald Trump has claimed he would be able to fix the troubled Boeing 737 Max and rebrand it after the double air tragedies.

"This has without a doubt damaged Boeing's reputation and we foresee a dent to the (Boeing) brand's value at over $12 billion (£9 billion)", Chief Executive David Haigh said by email when asked about Trump's comments.

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