American Airlines Extends 737 MAX Cancelations Through June 2020

Filed Under: American

American Airlines has just updated their schedule, and with that we are seeing the airline cancel 737 MAX flights for roughly two additional months.

No one knows when the 737 MAX will return to the skies

The 737 MAX has been grounded globally since March 2019. While Boeing has repeatedly tried to push a timeline for the 737 MAX returning to service, this is in the hands of the FAA.

Frankly with the number of new problems emerging with the 737 MAX, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the plane not return to service in 2020. Only time will tell.

There’s no denying that the 737 MAX is facing a huge uphill battle, both in terms of Boeing getting the plane certified once again, and also in terms of customers being okay with flying the plane, given just how many horrible details have emerged regarding the process that got this plane certified in the first place.

American cancels 737 MAX flights through June 3, 2020

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 June 3, 2020.

American’s 737 MAX cabin

As the airline explains in a press release, “once the aircraft is certified, American will run flights for American team members and invited guests only prior to June 4.”

Prior to this, American had canceled 737 MAX flights through April 6, so the timeline has slipped by an additional two months or so.

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 about 140 flights per day being canceled.

While they had already canceled flights through April, we can expect additional flights through June to be canceled with a schedule change that will be loaded on January 19. An additional schedule change is expected to be loaded in February.

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 June 4, 2020. In reality there’s not actually anything significant about that date, though.

Rather the airline just needs to be able to plan their schedule for the next several months, so they can load schedule changes with a bit of advance notice.

In the past I thought the 737 MAX may be flying within a few months, though at this point I’m not nearly as optimistic as I used to be.

  1. You know what, great. The 737MAX will never fly again and never should. I for one will never, ever set foot on that plane if any airline puts its into service. Although I think that will never happen. The pattern of malfeasance and cover-up by Boeing is truly sickening. They are murderers. I’m glad I’m a Delta flyer, and as you saw today, Delta is reporting a huge profit, partially because they don’t fly the 737MAX.


    I hope you all enjoy taking the Greyhound.
    This mockery is better than SNL.

    If I can make a dollar for every person who would never fly the MAX and eat their words I’ll probably be a millionaire in less than a year.

  3. The idea that people will willingly and knowingly board a 737 MAX is preposterous. Look for a rebranding in the near future.

  4. What Dan said, Boeing murdered hundreds of people, it took the second plane to go down and OTHER governments to ban the plane for the scandal to emerge.

  5. Boeing needs to give up on the MAX and spend the time to create a new 757 and make it the best plan in the segment.

  6. I don’t understand why AA/WN/UA keeps planning schedules and sales around a variable that is outside of their control.

    Remove the 737 MAX out of the equation permanently and work with the fleet you actually have or will have (other deliveries) then when a firm timeline has been confirmed by the FAA then start phasing the 737MAX back into the schedule.

    Otherwise all they do is create more work for themselves and their customers requiring resources to reallocate equipment, rebook customers, adjust sales to factor in the reduced capacity, etc.

  7. seeing as how Boeing will probably escape criminal liability for their gross negligence, i will actively avoid flying on the MAX. if an equipment swap puts me on the MAX i will seek other options. i’m prepared to accept some serious inconveniences to not fly on a MAX again. i hope enough people do the same and make the MAX a completely unviable product.

  8. should just plan for the MAx never returning to service.

    much easier to then plan the rest of your fleet allocation and pilot rosters and give passengers some certainty they their flight won’t be cancelled because their plane has been shifted to cover another route

  9. Eskimo, I will gladly bet you $1 million I will never fly on a 737MAX, ever.

    Marcus, brilliant comment!

    Jan, I’m not hoping for Boeing’s demise at all. Just not getting on that one airplane, ever.

  10. “As the airline explains in a press release, ‘once the aircraft is certified, American will run flights for American team members and invited guests only prior to June 4.'”

    Who do you have to p!$$ off to get invited on one of those flights?

  11. @William No joke! That’s one of those invitations I would rather not receive.

    I would have been fine getting on a MAX once the MCAS issue was ironed out. However, new issues with potential wiring issues really make me wonder what else is wrong with the plane. For that reason, I don’t plan to ever get on one if I can help it.

    I’m not hoping for a Boeing demise or an Airbus monopoly, but I do hope that Boeing will once again become an innovative company, led by engineers rather than accountants or shareholders. Boeing built some truly excellent machines (747, 757, 777) and have the ability to do so again.

    At this point, I would have more faith in Boeing if they pulled the plug on the MAX project and dedicated engineers to building an innovative NMA (which is needed). I could at least admire their ability to admit defeat and try to stop the bleeding.

    The MAX program is a sinking ship, I would imagine nobody wants to be the goddess on it’s prow, in the words of Moira Rose.

  12. I would be willing to bet the reasons US carriers are rescheduling the MAX the way they are has less to do with its anticipated return and more to do with the claims it can make for lost revenue. June seems extremely ambitious with what will likely be massive logistical challenges accompanying training requirements. Don’t they only have like a single simulator and don’t the grounded planes need a significant amount of work to become airworthy again?!?!

  13. American might as well dump the MAX, cancel ALL remaining orders, return all delivered planes back to the manufacturer for a FULL refund and turn around and order many of the new A220 aircraft! Why keep waiting on these planes as they may never fly again and once back in service who will want to hop on one? Not me!

  14. @Dan Nainan

    I really want to take your bet. Not only would I accept it, I would even double down.
    Too bad it can’t possibly be done. 😉
    But know this Eskimo will haunt you every time you see a 737 at your gate, MAX or not. You’ll be thinking if your luck finally runs out and felt lucky you didn’t lose a million to Eskimo (yet). I also hope you don’t fly AS that often because chances are you will see Eskimo on the 737 to remind you.

    This would be the easiest million in my life, even easier than the initial $1 eat your word jar.

    See you on the 737MAX soon.

  15. I hoe they plan a surprise 797 announcement, they really need to do it now. No more diddly dallying!

  16. @ Eskimo – in most instances, I’d agree that people will eventually return to a product or service after a sustained period of time following that product or service suffering catastrophic failure (up to and including the loss of human lives.) But that said, this seems to be different, and in recent years we’ve seen catastrophic events systematically impact air travel when consumers do not feel safe. As time goes on, confidence in the Boeing brand continues to decrease as more revelations come about (and, at least limited research suggests that more flyers are indicating they feel unsafe flying the MAX upon return.) Early 2021 seems like a more reasonable return date at this point, and by then I’m not sure what percent of consumers will fly on the plane, no matter how objectively safe it may be, and regardless of the present duopoly limiting alternative choices. All said, despite Boeing’s increased financial challenges, I think the time table for a 737 replacement is potentially bumped up significantly, as the 737 brand will likely never achieve its former level of public trust, and this former high level of public trust has historically been a major component of the 737s value.

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