American Airlines Cancels 737 MAX Flights Until 2020

Filed Under: American

American Airlines has just updated their schedule, and with that we won’t see the 737 MAX return until mid-January of 2020 at the earliest.

Timeline For 737 MAX Returning To Service

The 737 MAX has been grounded globally since March. Boeing is working on finalizing the software fixes for the plane and once again getting it certified.

While we always hear optimistic timelines for when that could happen, the reality is that it’s anyone’s guess when the plane will be back in the sky. Furthermore, just because the FAA certifies the plane doesn’t mean that other global aviation authorities will.

So even though progress is being made, it does seem like Boeing and airlines operating the 737 MAX have an uphill battle, both in terms of regulatory approval and passenger confidence.

American Cancels 737 MAX Flights Through January 2020

Today American has updated their schedule as it pertains to the 737 MAX. As of today American Airlines has removed the 737 MAX from their schedule for flights through January 15, 2020.

American’s 737 MAX cabin

As the airline explains in a press release, they anticipate “that the impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX will lead to recertification of the aircraft later this year and resumption of commercial service in January 2020.”

What Flights Will Be Canceled?

American is extending cancelations with the plane in order to more reliably plan their schedule over the coming months. With this, we can expect that approximately 140 flights per day will be canceled through December 3, 2019.

It’s worth understanding, however, that not all flights that were supposed to be operated by the 737 MAX will be canceled, and conversely, some flights not operated by the 737 MAX may be canceled.

That’s because American is reworking their schedule somewhat, so we may see situations where they put a 737-800 (or another aircraft) on a flight that was previously scheduled to be operated by a 737 MAX. That also means that there will be flights that were supposed to be operated by other planes that will be canceled so the plane can be used on a high priority 737 MAX route.

As American describes the timeline now:

  • Customers booked on a MAX through January 6: All customers who were booked previously on a MAX will be automatically accommodated on the same flights operated by a 737-800 with the same seat configuration. No additional rebooking will be required.
  • Customers booked on a MAX from January 7 through January 15: The majority of these customers will be accommodated on the same flight operated by a different aircraft type, which may include a 737-800 or an Airbus aircraft. Beginning Oct. 13, American’s Reservations and Sales team will contact affected customers who are impacted by any potential flight cancellations. Customers who booked through a travel agent will be contacted by their agency directly.
  • Beginning January 16: American expects to slowly phase in the MAX for commercial service and will increase flying on the aircraft throughout the month and into February.

Bottom Line

The 737 MAX won’t be making a return to American Airlines in 2019, as the plane has been removed in the schedule through mid-January 2020. Even that is likely optimistic, though, and it’s likely we’ll see yet another delay. They seem to be taking the plane out of the schedule about a month at a time.

  1. Good luck finding people to fly on those death traps. How does the saying go? “If it’s Boeing I ain’t going!”

  2. They won’t fly again because of the design flaw. Even if they get through the FAA, the things won’t pass anywhere else.

  3. I have a flight with AA LGA MIA last week of December. Today, it shows 7M8 as equipment. I guess that will change? Good to know so I can check and update seat assignment when it goes to a 737.

  4. @FR @1987

    “On Oct. 13, American will run a formal schedule change, and customers who were previously booked on a MAX will see their reservation updated on”

  5. Every prolongation of the ban is always accompanied by some PR on how the resumption of service is not far off, before being postponed again. It’s not exactly encouraging for the flying public. I’m certainly not flying the MAX in its first 6 months back in service.

  6. @DTG

    Meanwhile they’re still progressively changing all the NGs to Oasis.

    AA says, “All customers who were booked previously on a MAX will be automatically accommodated on the same flights operated by a 737-800 with the same seat configuration. “

  7. @DTG, I agree with you. But according to Gary from View From the Wing, American has resumed reconfiguring existing 737-800 to the oasis configuration and are adding in the current first class seats since the modifications to improve first class have not been approved by the FAA yet. As such, these aircraft will be reconfigured a second time in the next year as well. It appears that Dougie and team likes to light money on fire.

  8. AA (and other airlines) will also need more time for their marketing strategies if this plane comes back into service.

  9. Even when the MAX’s are approved to begin scheduled/charter service, at least initially, there will be restrictions placed on the aircraft such as stage length of flight, number of hours in the air, and no ETOPS operations.

    Not being able to re-commence ETOPS operations with the MAX fanjets hurts an operator such as Southwest whose Hawaii expansion plan has been based on using the MAX fanjets for the majority of their Hawaii routes. Will Southwest have a plan in place if the groundings last past the rest of the year 2019? Yes.

    You can be sure the folks at AS and UA are planning for extended contingencies without having any MAX fanjets in their respective fleets.

    As for American, they have publicly stated they would like to add more used 319’s to the fleet. Will that help for a short time, considering the seat capacities are 44 seats less than the American Airlines of their 737 MAX 8 fanjet at 172 seats? Yes, if the groundings continue into 2020 and AA is able to secure the right 319’s to quickly add into the fleet.

    Would I fly the MAX fanjets upon regulatory approval re-introduction? Yes. However, at least initially, only on shorter stage length routes that are point-to-point and entirely over land.

    The other angle I’m following is what the UK Civil Aviation Authority and EASA have to say. My hunch is that it will be different from what the F.A.A. gives as their approval.

    747 Braniff Place

  10. LOL….ya…….that aint happenin’. not anytime soon at least.

    Like Donna said, if I were American, Id ask for a refund or just return all the MAX planes and scrap those planes and their “Oasis” configuration and just come up with a better one to use on Airbus. But its AA were talking about here lol……aiai

  11. Of my planned flights only the Dec 10 STT to MIA flight was changed to MAX8. Still shows MAX 8 but this will be updated. WHY does AA reintroduce this airplane from a small airport to fly entirely over water?

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