American Airlines Joins Southwest With 737 MAX Grounding

Just after United Airlines extended its forecasted 737 MAX grounding, American Airlines has followed suit. The American carrier has said that it does not expect the 737 MAX to be back in its schedule until the 18th of August 2020.

American Airlines 737 MAX
American Airlines is pushing out the Boeing 737 MAX return to August 2020. Photo: Getty Images

Next month will see the first anniversary of the Boeing 737 MAX grounding. The latest generation of the popular Boeing 737 family has been out of action since a second fatal crash of the type took 157 lives last March. As Boeing and the FAA continue to work towards the aircraft’s recertification, the re-entry to service date has been pushed back many times.

August return

American Airlines’ latest guidance shows that the 737 MAX will not return to the airline’s schedule until mid-August at the earliest. This is following continued contact with Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Transportation. The airline had previously removed the aircraft from schedules until June the 4th.

The latest return to service delay does not come as a surprise. In fact, we have already seen similar messages posted a number of times by American Airlines. However, it hasn’t just been American Airlines. Typically all three of the US MAX customers announce similar news at roughly the same time.

Icelandair MAX
The 737 MAX has been grounded for the last 11 months now. Photo: Getty Images

United foresees a different date

As we reported earlier today, it seems as though United Airlines has gone beyond that of American and Southwest. United has removed the 737 MAX from its schedule until the 4th of September at the earliest. Meanwhile, Southwest announced yesterday that it is currently targetting the 10th of August for the aircraft’s return to service.

The three US carriers are closely consulting with Boeing and the FAA regarding the MAXs return to service. This is the most accurate forecast for the aircraft’s return to service as the carriers are privy to information that others such as you and I may not be treated to.

Aeromexico also doesn’t believe it will be flying the 737 MAX until September. Meanwhile, Ryanair doesn’t expect to receive the first Boeing 737 MAX 200s it has ordered until September or October at the earliest.

Southwest boeing 737 max grounded getty images
Southwest has also extended the cancellation of the 737 MAX until August. Photo: Getty Images

When will the 737 MAX return to service?

It is impossible to say exactly when the Boeing 737 MAX will return to service, however, the estimates from the US carriers are our best guess at the moment. Next month will mark exactly a year since the 737 MAX was grounded. However, it is possible that the date could be further pushed back beyond August and September.

In general, the Federal Aviation Administration is declining to put a time frame on the return of the aircraft, however, they did say earlier this week that the aircraft’s certification is getting nearer. Meanwhile, Boeing’s latest public estimate puts the return to service around mid-year.

Do you think the Boeing 737 MAX will return in August, or will its return be pushed further? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.