Airlines expect 737 MAX grounding to last almost year


Boeing's best selling plane, 737 MAX has been grounded since March after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.

Aside from that, the Southwest and American, had also been taking heavy hits in to their profits as they had to grapple with a growing number of passengers during holiday seasons with slimmer fleets.

Domestic-focused Southwest, which had previously set February 8 as a return date for the MAX, said "proactively" removing the aircraft from service reduced the likelihood of last-minute cancellations and disruption. He added that the incidents of the 737 MAX have a negative impact on every single person of the Boeing Company.

United Airlines, the other U.S. 737 MAX operator, had thus far cancelled flights into January, although it may yet have to extend that time frame.

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One of the issues raised by FAA regulators is that Boeing presented the MCAS documentation in a similar format as it had been in the past, but officials wanted it in a different form.

The airline says it's monitoring information from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration about software improvements and pilot-training requirements that will be part of returning the plane to flight. The FAA said it would take 30 days after the certification flight before it would unground the plane. according to Reuters.

The company previously said it would resume the flights by January, cancelling around 140 flights each day in the meantime. It had 34 Maxes in its fleet with another 200 on order at the time of the grounding in March. It said on Friday it still hopes to receive seven MAX deliveries in the current quarter, with the remaining shifting into 2020. Southwest's chief executive, Gary Kelly, has repeatedly said he is "not happy" with the Max situation. The airline is discussing compensation with Boeing, but no agreement has been reached. Without clarity on the MAX timeline, it said it could not update a previous forecast for first-quarter capacity to grow between 2% and 3%.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.