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Southwest Pilots Warn Boeing 737 Max May Stay Grounded Until March



A group of airline pilots is warning that the Boeing 737 Max may not resume service until early next year.

As part of a new report from Bloomberg, pilots from Southwest Airlines have said that the troubled plane could remain grounded until March.

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Southwest, the largest operator of the 737 Max planes, airlines/southwest-cancels-737-max-to-2020-adds-flights-to-hawaii-mexico.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>previously announced it would not fly until January 2020.

The carrier has revealed that its internal plans are for the 737 Max to begin carrying customers anywhere from 45 to 60 days after U.S. regulators eliminate the current no-fly order for the plane.

A union president, Jon Weaks, is reported to have said that his “best guess” for when the plane will return to the skies is January, at the soonest.

The airline has also said that it anticipates regulators will certify the ground jet to begin flying again sometime before Thanksgiving, Bloomberg reported.

Boeing meanwhile, has not yet submitted its final changes to the airlines/new-faa-boss-says-boeing-737-max-wont-return-until-completely-safe.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>Federal Aviation Administration for review. The company said it is aiming for having the plane back in the skies by sometime in the fourth quarter.

The new Bloomberg report also noted that a review of new 737 Max software by federal regulators and test pilots is at least one month out, if not more.

Reintroducing the 737 Max is expected to take about 45 days once the ban has been lifted.

Southwest has also given its pilots two months to complete Max refresher courses and has said it wants pilots to complete FAA training before flying the planes again.

The 737 Max was grounded after two deadly crashes involving the plane – the October 29, 2018 crash of Lion Air flight 610 in the Java Sea and the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash near Ejere, Ethiopia on March 10, 2019.

The plane has since been undergoing a safety-systems overhaul by the manufacturer.

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