In the wake of American Airlines extending its cancellations of any flight scheduled to operate on a Boeing 737 Max aircraft to November 2, the industry is bracing for what could be a major albatross.
It is becoming more and more apparent that the grounding of the troubled aircraft could seep into the holiday travel season, which begins in mid-November and is the most lucrative season of the year for airlines.
MORE Airlines & Airports
Start Booking Now For Fall Airline Deals
WATCH: Plane Makes Super Low Landing at Greek Airport
Ryanair Says Boeing 737 MAX Grounding Impacting Flights…
American, United and Southwest – the three biggest U.S. carriers who utilize the 737 Max – have extended deadlines no less than five times since March. The latest came on July 14 when American announced further cancellations extending into November.
If the ban extends beyond that, it will create all kinds of disruption among the airlines leading to more cancellations, equipment switches and just general logistical issues.
The Boeing 737 Max was grounded in March after two separate crashes just three months apart on Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines killed 346 people. Preliminary reports showed that a new stabilization system forced both planes into a nosedive from which the pilots could not recover. Boeing has been working on a software fix for the apparent problem.
But, late last month, the Federal Aviation Administration discovered yet another problem with the embattled aircraft – another flaw within the computer system was uncovered during a simulator test.
As a result, some FAA officials and airline executives believe it will be 2020 before the aircraft is able to gain clearance to fly again, according to the Wall Street Journal.
American, Southwest, and United all declined to comment on the potential impact of holiday travel.