United Airlines Joins American With 2020 Boeing 737 MAX Forecast

United Airlines has joined American Airlines in expecting its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to remain grounded until 2020. The news comes as the Boeing 737 grounding approaches its seventh month.

Boeing 737 MAX, United Airlines, Grounded
United Airlines now expects the Boeing 737 MAX to be back in the skies from early January. Photo: United Airlines

The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded back in March, with mid-September marking half a year since the grounding commenced. In this time we’ve seen numerous airlines continually pushing back their 737 MAX re-entry to service. Now, United Airlines has become the latest to push its 737 MAX re-entry to Service until 2020. As such, all of the American carriers will likely have their 737 MAX aircraft grounded for around nine months.

Some background

Thanks to the prevalence of social media and the internet, almost everybody is aware of the Boeing 737 MAX. The aircraft was grounded after a fatal Ethiopian Airlines accident. But why? The reason for the grounding was that the Ethiopian Airlines incident closely mirrored a similar Lion Air incident from the previous year.


The accidents were found to have been caused by a fault with the aircraft’s MCAS system. In both cases, the computer had trimmed the aircraft for a sharp pitch down. This, unfortunately, was not recoverable in either of the two occurrences. The two accidents combined led to the loss of 346 lives.

Boeing 737 MAX, United Airlines, Grounded
The Boeing 737 MAX has now been grounded for almost seven months. Photo: United Airlines

The 6th of January 2020

United Airlines, along with Southwest Airlines, plans to have the Boeing 737 MAX back in the sky running passenger flights by January 6th according to The Points Guy. However, American Airlines has taken a slightly more pessimistic approach. The American oneworld airline is now banking on the aircraft being out of action until at least January 16th, 2020.

As such, the aircraft are currently in storage across the United States. The southern desert regions of the United States make the perfect environment for storing planes, while others are dotted around here and there.

Boeing 737 MAX, United Airlines, Grounded
The 737 MAX has split scimitar wings tips. Photo: United Airlines

About the date, United Airlines told The Points Guy,

“Since the grounding of the Boeing MAX aircraft in March, United has gone to great lengths to minimize the impact on our customers’ travel plans. We’ve used spare aircraft and other creative solutions to help our customers, who had been scheduled to travel on one of our MAX aircraft, get where they are going.”

Now it just becomes a waiting game. There is the possibility that the Boeing 737 will become airborne again sooner. However, there is also the possibility that the grounding will drag on meaning that airlines have to revise their schedules once more. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Would you fly onboard the Boeing 737 MAX when it is recertified? Why? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.


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The max will not be re-certified. The faa cannot afford to claim it is safe only for other regulators to say it is not and keep it grounded. The length of the grounding and the fact no fix has been formally submitted should tell everyone there is no solution forthcoming.

Byard Ray

No. I would not fly in a Boeing 737 MAX, and probably not in the Boeing NG (wing related cracks). The US government has basically stopped all FAA inspections with severe budget cuts and it’s zest for deregulation, and instead let’s the “industry regulate itself”. We see how the fox guarding the hen house is now working. Airbus and the EU has a robust regulatory system in place to keep the big corporations honest, and assure safe aircraft.

Brody Cyr

Good luck never flying on a 737 NG or MAX. The 737NG is one of the most used aircraft in the world, so (if you live in the US) unless you limit yourself to Frontier, Spirit or jetBlue there is a pretty good chance you’ll end up on a 737.


Nej jag vill inte flyga dessa flygplan. Skrota dom, det gäller människoliv. Flygbolag borde köpa Airbus istället. Boeingplanen hastades fram kollade inte säkerheten ordentligt, det säger väl allt .


The 737 Max will suffer a worst stigma than the Galaxy Note 7. No one was killed by the Note yet it simply disappeared.


Nej jag skulle aldrig flyga ett ända Boing plan mera i mitt liv.
Aldra minst ett fel konstruerat plan, där dess balans är åt helvete.

Nicholas Carlson

I’m scheduled to fly at the end of January on a United 737 MAX. I see no reason not to when the time comes. Boeing has flown more than 800 flights under the new fix. They’ve put their skin into the game. If the United crews are willing to fly it, so am I. (USAF navigator 1959 – 1979, last aircraft C-5A).

Brody Cyr

I personally wouldn’t have any problem flying on a 737MAX once it is recertified, I wouldn’t go to any lengths not to fly on one. It’s still a plane and the truth is any plane runs the risk of having a fatal crash no matter its reputation.