Southwest extends MAX grounding until April 2020


NEW YORK (AFP) — Southwest Airlines on Tuesday again extended the timeframe for resuming flights on the Boeing 737 MAX, this time until mid-April 2020.

The domestic-focused US carrier cited continued uncertainty over the regulatory approval for the MAX as it removed the plane from its schedule through April 13.

“We previously removed the MAX through March 6, 2020 to offer reliability to our operation and stability for our Customers,” Southwest said. “Based on continued uncertainty around the timing of MAX return to service, the company is proactively removing the MAX from its flight schedule through April 13, 2020.”

The MAX has been grounded since mid-March following two crashes that killed 346 people.

Boeing on Monday announced it would temporarily suspend production of new planes as the grounding drags out much longer than expected due to questions from regulators.

Boeing’s move came after the Federal Aviation Administration publicly criticized Boeing for having an unrealistic view of the MAX’s return to service.