Planning to fly Southwest, United or American airlines this summer vacation season?
You won’t be traveling on a Boeing 737 Max if you’re traveling before mid-August or early September, depending on the carrier.
American Airlines late Friday said it is removing the Max from its schedule through Aug. 17, more than two months later than its most-recent plan.
United Airlines went a step further, pushing the plane’s return from early June to Labor Day weekend.
The moves, the latest in a string of scheduled changes forced by the nearly yearlong grounding, were all expected. The Max has been grounded since March 2019 following two fatal crashes, on Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, in five months that killed 346 people.
In late January, top executives from each carrier told investors and the media they were likely to remove the plane from their schedules through the summer travel season due to changes in Boeing’s expected timeline for the plane’s ungrounding.
The impact by carrier varies on how many Max planes they had or planned to have in their fleets before the Max crisis began.
Southwest said it will have to cancel nearly 400 daily summer flights.
American said its latest change will impact 140 daily flights, United about 80 daily flights.
In all cases, affected passengers will automatically be rebooked on an alternate flight or offered other options, including a refund even if the ticket is nonrefundable.
Southwest had the most Max aircraft of any U.S. carrier, 34, at the time of the grounding and had hoped to double that count by the end of 2019. Boeing hasn’t been able to deliver any planes during the grounding.
Southwest said Boeing did build 27 of its new Max 8s on order before it stopped production of the plane and that they will be delivered after the ungrounding, giving it 61 planes it hopes to return to service as soon as possible after the plane is cleared to fly.
American Airlines had 24 Max planes at the grounding; United had 14.