United joins Southwest, American in new 737 MAX delay
NEW YORK, Nov 17: United Airlines said Friday it pushed back its expected date for Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft to return to service, following similar announcements by rivals Southwest and American Airlines.
The US air carrier now says it expects flights to resume on March 4, 2020, two months later than a previous estimate, implying the cancellation of thousands of scheduled flights.
The top-selling Boeing jets have been grounded since March of this year following the second of two crashes which left 346 people dead.
Boeing has faced stumbling blocks in its efforts to win global regulators' approval for proposed fixes to the aircraft and get the planes flying again.
In statement, United said it was working to minimize disruptions for the flying public, rescheduling flights or making other offers.
"We have cooperated fully with the FAA's independent review of the MAX aircraft, and we won't put our customers and employees on that plane until regulators make their own independent assessment that it is safe to do so," it said.
Boeing says it hopes to get regulatory approval for a return to service before the end of this year but has delayed its estimate for the resumption of commercial flights until January, to allow for changes to pilot training. -AFP