American Airlines Extends 737 MAX Cancelations Through March 2020

Filed Under: American

American Airlines has just updated their schedule, and with that we won’t see the 737 MAX return until March 5, 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 March 5, 2020

American has updated their schedule as it pertains to the 737 MAX. As of yesterday American Airlines has removed the 737 MAX from their schedule for flights through March 5, 2020.

American’s 737 MAX cabin

As the airline explains in a press release, “once the aircraft is certified, American expects to run exhibition flights, or flights for American team members and invited guests only, prior to March 5.”

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 March 5, 2020.

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.

Bottom Line

Per the latest guidance, the 737 MAX won’t be returning to service until at least March 5, 2020. In reality there’s not actually anything significant about that date, though. Rather that’s probably the very earliest they expect the plane to be back in service, and that also means the 737 MAX will have been grounded for one year at that point.

So while I think it’s highly unlikely the MAX’s return to service is pushed up, I do think it’s highly likely it could be pushed back even further.

  1. “The straw that broke the camel’s back”.

    This is exactly what happened with the 737. They took a 1960’s design and incrementally added to it for 50 years until it reached the concept’s limits. That the last imodifications were added in total secrecy without even the pilots being aware of it not only shows that those in charge knew that the limits were being pushed too far, it also makes the whole process criminal. Will this plane ever fly again ? No one knows. Will it ever fly competitively and with confidence ? Probably not. Will it break Boeing ? Possibly.

  2. And…

    American seems to apply to the B737 MAX restart the same announcements they keep using with delayed flights… 30 minutes, then an hour, then 2, etc… As we all know many of those flights end up cancelled. Q.E.D.

  3. So, this marks a year for the aircraft to be grounded…when it was first grounded Boeing claimed updating the software is an easy fix that will take weeks…So much to that

  4. It won’t fly again because it can’t fly. Hanging oversized and overweight engines on wings designed for smaller engines has made the whole thing unbalanced. A few software patches won’t fix a wrong design.

  5. Unsurprised to see fly18725 on FT trying to defend Boeing and muddy the waters. Helps to have industry plants spreading misinformation!

  6. What Dan Nainan said. I know it’s probably irrational, but I don’t care. Maybe after a lot of years pass and these planes fly hundreds of thousands of flights safely, I might fly them then.

  7. Boeing still haven’t grasped the basic customer-management concept of under-promising and over-delivering.

    Instead, every broken promise is another hammer-blow to customer trust. At this stage, it’s as if they have a death wish.

  8. After one horrendous year for Boeing not only is freakin’ Muilenberg still in charge, he has got a multi-million dollar bonus!!!!! The Boeing BoD must have a death wish. Too bad innocent employees and a once-proud company are going down with de boss.

  9. No way in hell I’ll ever fly on the Max again. I flew on it once before the 2 tragic events .After reading an article today by a pilot about the max and his explanation of the evolution of the original 737 into what it has become and how it’s not a great plane to fly and far from what it was originally intended for – I don’t need anymore convincing.

  10. I am with everyone who said they will never fly on a Max, no way will I ever board a flight operated by a Max. It doesn’t matter what software fix Boeing brings out next, you can’t fix faulty hardware with software. Everything after the 737-200 was a stretch too far for this airframe. The Max is a back of a fag packet response to the hugely successful A320 family and in my humble opinion it should never fly again.

  11. All this negativity got me thinking. If Max can never be safe regardless what software fix is implemented because the plane is “bad physics”, then how can the FAA ever recertify the Max? Are they such an incompetent group?

  12. 737MAX is finished. If it ever does fly again the airlines will be forced to scrap it as few will want to fly it. But watch them try to fool everyone by rebranding it to another name. I hope people will be smart enough to see through it. You know that old saying about lipstick in a pig.

  13. @Stuart – Perhaps, but remember that many people are now more cost-conscious than ever and if flying the MAX makes sense budget wise, people will be happy to hop on the plane. I don’t think the FAA would make the mistake of putting something back in the air without them absolutely making sure everything is fine IMO.

  14. There’s days I’m trying to avoid all Boeings. The company’s culture has become messed up at so many levels. We have manufacturing quality whistle blowers red flagging at one of their newer plants, Qatar wisely insisting on only accepting deliveries from older more established production lines, the 737 MAX death trap issue (ill placed big engines constrained by short undercarriage in turn constrained by an ancient airframe design). Then you have annoying issues such as the 787 economy foot space being cluttered with equipment boxes that should have been more neatly provisioned in a supposedly modern design, the rush to LiPo batteries almost killing people (inadequate testing / design), etc, etc. And the company’s reaction to all these issues is very telling – heavily flavoured with denial and papering over gaping cracks rather than openly embracing and fixing issues. I must say I do enjoy mostly flying A380, A350 and A320. Even – Antonov seems preferable these days !!!

  15. I will fly the 737 MAX as soon as it is in the air, and if many of you who say you won’t decide not to go(fly) thank you, that is a good thing!! Lately the plans have been so jam-packed, I would welcome the break from the cattle-call mentality.

  16. Ryanair CEO said that there’s a real risk that they won’t have any Maxes flying next summer – they should have had 30

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