Southwest Airlines keeping Boeing 737 Max jets grounded through March 6

Boeing 737 MAX Southwest

The world's largest aerospace company is now facing multiple lawsuits in both crashes, including one that alleges Boeing concealed problems and refused to ground the plane on its own. Besides, earlier this year, the Southwest Airlines, which had been banking its entire growth on Boeing's new single-aisle aircrafts, had suspended all of its 737 Max flights until February 8th, while in its Friday's (November 8th) announcement, the leading United States airliner added that it was expecting a return of Max 737 back into its commercial services on March 6th. Boeing Co is facing increasing hurdles in obtaining approval to return the plane to service before the end of this year as it has targeted.

The airline cited "continued uncertainty around the timing of MAX return to service" in its decision to extend cancellations by another month, the longest delay for any US carrier.

Southwest has signaled rising frustration with the worsening delays in Boeing's effort to win safety regulators' approval for the Max to resume flights. Southwest had originally grounded the plane through February 8, and has now extended that grounding through March 6, the biggest delay from a US carrier. The FAA said it would take 30 days after the certification flight before it would unground the plane. according to Reuters.


As of now, the company is cancelling about 175 weekday flights out of a peak daily schedule of over 4,000.

The company has had discussions with Boeing regarding compensation for damages due to the Max groundings, but said on Friday that no conclusions have been reached. In a similar decision announced earlier on Friday, Southwest Airlines said it would keep the jets grounded until March 6. It had 34 Maxes in its fleet with another 200 on order at the time of the grounding in March. Boeing's best selling plane, 737 MAX has been grounded since March after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people. But even that date could be moved back, Southwest said.

But without clarity on the MAX timeline, Southwest said it could not update a previous forecast for first-quarter capacity to grow between 2% and 3%.

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