Donald Trump Boeing 737 advice: "REBRAND the plane"

Saul Bowman
April 16, 2019

And Southwest Airlines, the other USA airline that has 737 Max 8 jets, also has canceled flights involving the aircraft through August.

American's cancellations represent 1.5% of its total flights each day of the summer.

The Chief Executive and President of the company said in a letter to employees and customers that they believe the plane will be recertified before that date but want to be reassured of the reliability ahead of its peak travel season. At the beginning of April, American Airlines expected its fleet of 24 MAXs to remain on the ground until the beginning of June, translating into 90 canceled flights per day. He also noted that about two-thirds of the company's 50 737 Max operators worldwide had participated in a simulator session that included the new software.

Two crashes of the plane - Lion Air flight 610 in October off the coast of Indonesia and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March outside Addis Ababa - killed a combined 346 people and led to a global grounding of the jet.

Muilenburg did not say when 737 Max planes may begin flying again.

Almost 400 B737 Max aircraft have been delivered to carriers worldwide, with Southwest now the largest operator with 31 aircraft in its fleet.

"We're not denying that it's going to be a challenge for us", American spokesman Ross Feinstein said.

A decline in seat capacity could mean higher last-minute summer fares, particularly for business class travelers, aviation consultants and analysts said.

The announcement made American the second major carrier to cancel flights using the plane through the busy summer season in the northern hemisphere.

United has largely avoided cancellations by servicing MAX routes with larger 777 or 787 aircraft, but the airline president, Scott Kirby, warned last week that the strategy was costing it money and could not go on forever.

Southwest is allowing affected passengers to reschedule flights at no additional cost. Flight cancelations show the airlines, that had hoped to have the planes back in the air by May, now expect it will be longer before the aircraft can return to service.

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