American Cancels 737 MAX Flights Through December 3

Filed Under: American

The 737 MAX has been grounded globally since March. Boeing is working on finalizing the software fixes for the plane, and then the 737 MAX has to once again be 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.

With that in mind, 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 December 3, 2019.

American’s 737 MAX cabin

As the airline explains in a press release, they “remain confident that impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year.”

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.

I would imagine American hopes that they don’t have to extend the cancelations any further, because that could impact their busy holiday travel season.

  1. This schedule update also included massive cuts at JFK as well. Not just the mainline flights but many regional flights.

  2. Wise move. The things won’t fly again anyway is software fixes simply cannot solve flaws resulting from shortcuts in hardware designs

  3. American is putting a 789 on the PHL ZRH route.

    Also this fall they are taking a 789 off the LAX PEK route and replacing it with a 788. That’s a reduction of business class seats from 29 to 19.

  4. Whe and if the Max is put back into service the U.S. carriers and Air Canada operating them will ensure that passengers will not be able to discern whether their aircraft is a Max. It will simply show 737 or 737-8 or 9. Therefore I’ll fly Frontier or Delta to avoid taking the risk of being put on a Max. The aircraft design is flawed (with those bigger engines) and software ain’t gonna ‘fix’ the problem. Case closed. Boeing should have been replaced the 737 with a clean sheet aircraft 10 years ago to accommodate larger engines.

  5. Anybody planning future air travel with an airline with 737MAX aircraft in its fleet needs to understand the risk they are taking if they are averse to being a passenger on that aircraft type. Most airlines are not showing it in their 2020 schedules. Instead you might see a generic 737 as equipment, or if the airline has not had earlier versions, a substitute based on the juggling they have had to do.

    This means that you could be buying a non refundable ticket on an aircraft that you want to avoid that will be rushed back into service and will be waiting for you at the gate as an “equipment change”.

    Airlines should be pressed to offer no fee refunds or rescheduling/rerouting at the option of any passenger wishing to avoid that aircraft type. Failing that, the only solution would be to refrain from buying tickets where that risk exists or purchase only from airlines with none of that type in their fleets.

    I recently shelved a trip next April to Brazil on Copa because of that uncertainty and wonder if other readers are doing likewise or whether airlines are contemplating offering 737MAX protection to ticket buyers?

  6. Of course, one could argue that the Max will be the safest plane in the sky after all these checks, tests and trials. And after a year or so in service (assuming no further incidents) then its safety record will statistically be no worse than any other plane other than the ones that have never crashed (787, A350, A380).

    The DC-10 had a worst record than this in the 1970s and 1980s, and I still see them flying in some places.

  7. I’ll be happy to fly on a 737MAX as soon as it’s in the air – as long as the crews are US- or EU-trained. Out on the fringes of the developing world with inexperienced, minimally-trained and barely-qualified crews? In that case I’ll think twice, and think again.

    These planes are perfectly safe today, and have been all along, in the hands of a well-trained pilot.

    I’m looking forward to flying on them once they’re recertified. Because there will be plenty of empty middle seats due to all the clueless, spoiled idiots who are afraid to fly on them. More room and extra peanuts for me!

  8. I think many are forgetting that even with the S80 drawdown, AA is taking delivery of lots of A320/21s during this time.

  9. @golfingboy tell me about it. AA has canceled all but an early morning flight from DCA to JFK for the interim, instead routing passengers to LGA. In the busy summer season there were no flights between the airports. With the way LGA is, I’ve stopped all travel on AA through that gateway.

  10. Will all of the regulatory scrutiny and microscopes it is under, the 737 MAX should be safe to fly if/when it is re-certified. My biggest concern would (still) be with the sardine seating, lack of IFE, bad union relations and terrible customer service that AA is now renowned for.

  11. I will NEVER fly the MAX 8/9. I will go out of my way time-wise and cost-wise to purchase a ticket on a non-MAX 8/9 operating airline. I’m not willing to gamble that an additional major defect in the plane may or may not have yet to be discovered.

  12. Good grief! The 737 Max will be the safest plane in the sky when it is recertified. Some of you are just nuts.

  13. Does anyone know of any other aircraft which has flight characteristics that require computer intervention in order to allow the pilot to operate it as normal? I’m specifically referring to the imbalance caused by moving the engines that precipitates a tendency to pitch up.

    The only aircraft of the top of my head I can think of is the F16 and I think that was designed that way in order to facilitate its exceptional maneuverability.

  14. “Does anyone know of any other aircraft which has flight characteristics that require computer intervention in order to allow the pilot to operate it as normal?”

    Yes, an F-16.

    Needing computer assist to fly a modern aircraft isn’t abnormal. Not admitting to, nor training, the pilots flying one is.

    (FWIW most airplanes are flown by autopilot anymore)

  15. “Does anyone know of any other aircraft which has flight characteristics that require computer intervention in order to allow the pilot to operate it as normal?”

    Yes, an F-16.

    See the wikipedia entry about the F-16 and the section on Negative Stability and Fly By Wire, I’d link, but it trips the spam filter.

    Needing computer assist to fly a modern aircraft isn’t abnormal. Not admitting to bugs, nor training the pilots about software changes is.

    (FWIW most airplanes are flown by autopilot anymore)

  16. A few days ago it was reported by Business Traveller that Southwest has been even more pessimistic:

    “Southwest Airlines has removed the B737 Max from its schedules up to January 5, 2020”

    This drip-feed of ever-worse news is just about the worst way to manage a PR crisis. Boeing should have learnt by now that the key to building and maintaining credibility is to under-promise and over-deliver.

    Whereas Boeing’s current PR strategy seems to be the exact opposite.

  17. A pilot said he would never take his family on that plane.
    Would you fly on a 737-Max ,Ben,if it is ever authorized to fly again?

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