Two major US passenger carriers, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, announced that they would be further delaying the return of Boeing 737 Max. Both the airlines have now pushed the return of the controversial Boeing 737 Max till early March.
Southwest Airlines said that it now is planning its Boeing 737 Max planes to return not before March 6, 2020. The airlines company is the largest operator of Boeing 737 Max fleet in the United States.
This is the sixth time that Southwest Airlines has pushed the return date of the plane. It had earlier cancelled all its Boeing 737 Max flights till early February 2020.
American Airlines, on the other hand, announced that it is cancelling all Boeing 737 Max from flight schedules from January 16 to March 4. American Airlines has 24 Boeing 737 Max in its fleet, while Southwest Airlines has 34, besides the 41 that were expected to delivered this year.
The recent announcements from the two civil aviation giants will see a large number of flights getting cancelled daily till March 6. While Southwest airlines will have to cancel 175 flights daily during this period, American Airlines will have to do away with 140 flights daily.
The grounding of its planes from fleet has already resulted in the two companies incurring losses of around $1 billion, which is further going to escalate.
However, none of the companies is still confident if the planes will really return on the newly announced dates. Boeing has been passing through turbulent weather, with the company mired in multiple controversies.
Airline Companies Bleed
Earlier this year, on March 13, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered the grounding of Boeing 737 Max fleet of all airlines across the world, following two crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed 346 people.
Investigations in the crashes put the blame on a faulty sensor and software system. Since then, all airlines companies that have Boeing 737 Max have been suffering, with hundreds of flights cancellations daily.
Southwest Airlines and American Airlines certainly are the two major victims given that Southwest and American Airlines operate the largest and second largest U.S. based fleet of Boeing 737 Max jets, respectively.
Southwest Airlines also said that even after the plane gets approval from the FAA, the airline will take around one to two months to get it ready.
Southwest and American Airlines have also been holding talks with Boeing over compensation for the time Max has been grounded.