United Airlines is again extending its flight cancellations for any trip using the grounded Boeing 737 Max airplane.
The Chicago-based carrier announced Friday that all flights using the troubled aircraft are now canceled until Dec. 19, some six weeks after its previously announced deadline of Nov. 3.
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American has canceled all 737 Max flights through Nov. 2, and Southwest – the biggest U.S.-based customer of the 737 Max – has stopped all flights until at least Jan. 4, 2020.
Boeing believes it can approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly again by October. The planes were grounded in March after two separate flights crashed, killing 346 passengers and crew.
The Federal Aviation Administration is apparently close to conducting a certification flight for the plane in October, the most important component of a series of steps to get the 737 Max flying again.
“The FAA’s certification of the Boeing 737 Max is the subject of several independent reviews and investigations that will examine all aspects of the five-year effort,” the agency told Bloomberg News Service. “While the agency’s certification processes are well established and have consistently produced safe aircraft designs, we welcome the scrutiny from these experts and look forward to their findings.”
There are more than 600 Boeing 737 Max planes that are currently grounded.
Canceling flights as far out as the airlines have gives carriers the opportunity to shuffle its deck and make the appropriate re-scheduling.