American Airlines Extends Cancellation of Boeing 737 MAX Flights Until January

American Airlines planes are parked at the gates at Chicago O'Hare International Airport on Jan. 28 2019 in Chicago. The airline said Oct. 9 that it expects to bring the Boeing 737 Max back into its schedule starting Jan. 16 2020

The largest US-based operator of the Max, Southwest Airlines, has removed the aircraft from its schedules through January 5. The airline cancelled 9,475 flights in the third quarter and estimates the dropped flights will impact pre-tax income by about $140 million, it said in a simultaneous investor update.

Its shares, down about 16 percent in a rough year for airlines, rose, however, on the company's statement that lower fuel costs had boosted margins in the third quarter. It previously dropped the MAX from its schedule through December 3.

Starting January 16, 2020, American said it expects to "slowly phase in" the Max for commercial service.

Regulators are still reviewing proposed software changes to the grounded plane with no certain timetable for the jet's return.

Boeing has been updating 737 MAX software, and is working with aviation regulators worldwide on a recertification process for the aircraft. "We are in continuous contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DOT)".

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 takes off during a flight test in Renton, Wash., on January 29, 2016. Boeing and its CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, had said until early October - when the fourth quarter began - that the company expected the plane to be cleared for flight in "early fourth quarter".

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BA stock has had a bumpy 12 months after two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia within five months of each other led to the 737 MAX's grounding around the world.

Still, Delta's third-quarter capacity growth is expected to outpace that of USA rivals whose capacity has stagnated or even fallen as slimmer fleets without the MAX force over 100 daily flight cancellations.

Boeing also reported four apparent order conversions in favor of the MAX in April but a major tentative deal for 200 of the jets from British Airways owner IAG ICAG.L , announced at the Paris Airshow in June, has yet to show up as a firm order.

Last week, officials with the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association indicated at their annual meeting that it would take until February or March for their airline to resume flying the MAX, according to the Associated Press. Boeing said the suit is "merit-less".

American Airlines on Wednesday pushed back the return of its Boeing 737 MAX jets until January 2020, again reshuffling its schedule due to a grounding following two deadly crashes.

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