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American Airlines Extends Boeing 737 Max Cancellations Again



Citing a need to plan for the busy summer travel season, American Airlines on Sunday said it will extend its cancellations of flights that use the troubled Boeing 737 Max plane through late August.

Previously, the airline had canceled flights airlines/american-airlines-cancels-boeing-737-max-flights-into-june.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>until June.

Southwest Airlines last week also extended its use of the 737 Max until August.

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“Based upon our ongoing work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing, we are highly confident that the MAX will be recertified prior to this time,” American Chairman and CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in a letter to airline employees. “But by extending our cancellations through the summer, we can plan more reliably for the peak travel season.”

The extension of the cancellations will last through August, 19.

The Boeing 737 Max has been grounded since March after an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed, killing everyone on board. That was preceded by a crash of another 737 Max, this one involving Indonesia’s Lion Air, last October. The two incidents killed 346 people combined.

Extending the cancellations should not impact the company’s bottom line too harshly, however. The decision will result in an average of 115 flights per day being affected, or just 1.5% of American’s total daily flights.

American utilized 24 737 Max planes in its fleet.

The causes of the crashes are still being investigated, but it is believed to have been a flaw in the automatic safety feature that may have forced the nose of each plane lower after onboard computers incorrectly sensed the plane was in danger of going into a stall.

Boeing officials and the FAA said they are working on an upgrade of the 737 Max software that controls the safety features.

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IATA: Damage to Air Travel Will Extend Into 2023



Any comeback by the beleaguered airline industry will extend into 2023, according to new data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airlines’ main trade group.

Long-haul travel will continue to lag behind and passenger fears about flying in general will contribute to the delay, Lonely Planet reported.

IATA estimates that passenger traffic won’t rebound to pre-crisis levels until at least 2023. It expects that global passenger demand in 2021 will be 24 percent below 2019 levels and 32 percent lower than the forecast the association made in October 2019.

The new data is based on a slower opening of economies and relaxation of travel restrictions. Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders could return if the virus comes back strong in the fall and winter with a second wave, as some health officials have predicted.

In addition, another contributing factor is quarantine measures that have been instituted by various countries as well as individual states in the U.S. According to IATA, 69 percent of recent travelers that it surveyed said they would not consider traveling if it involved a 14-day quarantine period once they arrive at their destination. IATA is asking governments to find alternatives to the quarantine measures.

Of course, all of this is contingent upon the public’s willingness to fly—and instilling confidence in that will take time, said IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

“To protect aviation’s ability to be a catalyst for the economic recovery, we must not make that prognosis worse by making travel impracticable with quarantine measures,” he said. “We need a solution for safe travel that addresses two challenges. It must give passengers the confidence to travel safely and without undue hassle, and it must give governments confidence that they are protected from importing the virus.”

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