Boeing 737 MAX

United Airlines is being forced to temporarily suspend service for flights between its Chicago hub and Leon, a city in central Mexico. As of September 3, 2019, the roundtrip route that’s currently being flown once per day will cease. United will, however, continue its service from Leon to Houston, with four daily flights.

According to a CNN report, the carrier stated that suspension of the route will, “help mitigate issues resulting from the grounding of the MAX aircraft.” While the Chicago-to-Leon route isn’t flown using a 737 MAX, United needs to reroute its fleet’s operational aircraft in order to cover routes that were previously being flown by the 737 MAX.

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United isn’t the first U.S. airline to discontinue a route due to the ongoing non-operation of its Boeing 737 MAX planes. Earlier this month, American Airlines suspended a nonstop, roundtrip flight between Dallas and Oakland, California.

In mid-July, as the 737 MAX model’s grounding continued into its fifth consecutive month, United signed on to purchase nineteen used Boeing 737-700 aircraft in order to maintain necessary capacity.

Obviously, other major airlines are also suffering from the continued absence of their 737 MAX aircraft from service.

On July 25, Southwest Airlines became the first carrier to preemptively extend its cancellation of 737 MAX flights into 2020, following repeated retrofitting delays by Boeing and the FAA. It also announced that it will cease operations at Newark-Liberty International Airport in the fall, and conduct its New York-area operations solely out of LaGuardia Airport.

American Airlines, the second-largest 737 MAX carrier behind Southwest, has also pulled its MAX planes from service through November 2, 2019, optimistic that the beleaguered aircraft will be ready to return to operation before year’s end.

On July 24, Boeing’s CEO revealed that the major manufacturer may need to slow or temporarily halt its production of the 737 MAX aircraft if it is not cleared to return to service by the end of the year. Boeing continues to work with the FAA to correct defective onboard software that caused two fatal crashes—the first in October 2018 and another in March 2019, after which authorities grounded all 737 MAX airplanes.

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