United Pushes Boeing 737 MAX Return To Service To September


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.

United Boeing 737 MAX
United Airlines is taking extra steps to ensure that it is ready for the Boeing 737 MAX’s reintroduction. Photo: United Airlines

Taking precautions

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.”

Southwest boeing 737 max grounded getty images
Southwest has also pushed the MAX’s return back till later on in the Summer. Photo: Getty Images

Ongoing implications

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.

American Airlines 737 MAX
American Airlines has also decided to readjust its 737 MAX return date once again. Photo: Getty Images

Extra measures

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.


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Keith Hitchman

I think no matter what United & other Airlines across the USA and the rest of the world restart carrying PAX. Passenger reluctance to fly on the now tarnished safety image of the Max will bring both Boeing & many Airlines who insist on using and selling it to the brink of bankruptcy. In my humble opinion it should be scrapped.Boeing should reflect on the fact that profit before safety will be their downful.


It’s breaking my heart as I am awaiting assignment. Most important thing is definitely the safety of all United employees and their employees. It’s rough for the Airlines to have to deal with such delays. Proud of the airlines.

Harry Cotronis

They most cartainly do the right thing, in their effort to ensure that the MAX project is adequately safe for use.


I like the idea of United, and how they are waiting a little later so they can make sure that the aircraft is safe for passengers and crew. But what I would do is to have the FAA check the aircraft first (for United) and then let it fly off into the sky.