American Airlines is extending daily Max 8-related flight cancellations deep into the busy summer travel season, following a similar move by Southwest Airlines last week.
The impact for travelers: 115 daily summer flight cancellations through Aug. 19. American said affected passengers will be notified of flight changes and rebookings in advance. The airline has more than 7,000 daily flights in the summer.
In a letter to employees Sunday, American CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said the airline is “highly confident” the Boeing 737 Max will be recertified by the Federal Aviation Administration before that date following fixes underway at Boeing following two fatal crashes in five months.
But they said they are removing the planes from the schedule through mid-August, up from June 5, a date that was announced just a week ago, to help ensure a smooth summer travel season. The airline has already canceled nearly 2,500 flights since the March 13 grounding.
“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 executives said.
American has 24 Max 8s in its fleet, the second highest number at a U.S. carrier after Southwest, which has 34.
American’s executives said the airline’s Max 8s initially will be used as spares when they do return.
More: How will airlines convince skittish travelers the 737 Max is safe to fly again?
An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 taxis out for departure from Miami International Airport in February 2019. (Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY)
More: You don’t have to be on a Boeing 737 Max to be affected by the FAA grounding
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