United Airlines has announced that it won’t return its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into service until September 4th at the earliest. The Chicago-based firm shared that this move will give it more certainty within its operations.
This announcement follows a similar announcement made by Southwest Airlines yesterday. The Dallas-based outfit shared that it will not include the plane type in services until August. Similarly, American Airlines has just shared that it won’t operate the aircraft till August 17th.
However, Flight Global reports that United has pushed the return back a little further than its US counterparts. The operator feels that the extra time will allow it to analyze the situation a little better to make any necessary revisions.
“During this period, we’ll continue to take extraordinary steps to protect our customers’ travel plans. Moving forward, we’ll continue to monitor the regulatory process and nimbly make the necessary adjustments to our operation and our schedule to benefit our customers who are traveling with us,” United said, as reported by Flight Global.
”By moving the return to service date back past peak summer travel season it allows us to have more certainty by providing our customers and our operation a firmer and more definitive timeline.”
The 737 MAX grounding saga is continuing to have a massive impact on United’s schedule. Between now and September, it expects to cancel 56 to 108 flights per day. Moreover, it has canceled 3,300 flights in May alone.
Altogether, there are 14 of the aircraft within the carrier’s fleet. Additionally, 16 MAX-9s are already produced but still in Boeing’s holdings. There are 155 planes are on order and with the aircraft continuing to be grounded, United still doesn’t have a firm date for the delivery for the future arrivals.
The Federal Aviation Administration recently hinted that the 737 MAX could commence certification flights within a few weeks. However, there are issues with the aircraft’s software that need to be resolved.
Once United reintroduces the planes, it will put extra procedures in place to ensure that concerned customers are not forced on them. Passengers will be notified if their flight is on a MAX when booking and they can rebook leading up to the flight if they feel uncomfortable.
Ultimately, the airline will be frustrated with the impact that the MAX grounding is having on its operations. However, it is putting the right measures in place to help its staff members and passengers be ready for the aircraft’s return.
A United spokesperson informed Simple Flying that the company’s focus remains on the safe return of its MAX aircraft. It will stay in close contact with Boeing about its future MAX production schedule. Meanwhile, the airline will mitigate the impact that it will have on its operations and customers.
What are your thoughts about the United pushing back the return of its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft? Let us know what you think in the comment section.