US airlines Southwest and American Airlines announced Friday that they are now postponing until March the date of a possible return to service of their Boeing 737 MAX.
The entire world fleet has been grounded for almost 8 months following two accidents.
The 737 MAX will be excluded from flight programs until March 6, Southwest said in a statement. The carrier had previously canceled flights on the 737 MAX until February 8.
For its part, American Airlines said it was aiming for a return to service on March 5. She had previously canceled MAX flights until January 15th.
"By proactively removing the MAXs from our flight programs, we can reduce last-minute flight cancellations and unplanned disruptions," Southwest said.
According to her, about 175 flights operated during the week are removed from the daily program, which includes up to 4,000 flights per day.
The company is the largest customer of the 737 MAX, with 34 units in its fleet at the time of grounding. American Airlines owns 24 and United Airlines 14.
All 737 MAXs were grounded after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft on March 10, minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 occupants.
As in the tragedy of Lion Air in Indonesia in October 2018, which had 189 deaths, it is the MCAS anti-stall system that was questioned.
Boeing must submit a modified version of the system to the FAA, the US regulator, and its counterparts around the world.
For now, no date of return to service has been stopped.
But the American aircraft manufacturer still hopes the return flight of the MAX by the end of the year.
© 2019 AFP