American Airlines has extended its cancellations of flights operated by the grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft again, this time through August 19. Last week, the airline had cancelled those flights through June as it prepares for the busy summer travel season.
In its statement announcing the new cancellations, American said that it is “highly confident” that the Max will be recertified prior to August 19. “But by extending our cancellations through the summer, we can plan more reliably for the peak travel season and provide confidence to our customers and team members when it comes to their travel plans,” the airline said. “Once the MAX is recertified, we anticipate bringing our MAX aircraft back on line as spares to supplement our operation as needed during the summer.”
The move will mean the cancellation of approximately 115 flights per day through August 19, representing approximately 1.5 percent of American’s total flying each day this summer, the airline said.
“We remain confident that the impending software updates, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing for the MAX, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon,” the airline said. “We have been in continuous contact with the FAA, Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), other regulatory authorities and are pleased with the progress so far.”
American’s reservations team will contact affected customers directly via email or phone. Customers should note that not all flights that had been previously scheduled on a 737 Max will be canceled, as the airline will attempt to substitute other aircraft types.
If a flight is canceled and a customer chooses not to be rebooked, they can request a full refund by visiting aa.com/refunds.
The 737 Max had been grounded in a number of countries and regions, including Mexico, the European Union and the United States following the tragic crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max flight, just months after a 737 Max operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed under similar circumstances.
A number of other airlines have been forced to reshuffle operations to account for the grounded aircraft, including Southwest Airlines, Norwegian and others.