|Airlines cancel thousands of flights as Boeing works to fix 737 Max software problems |
By Aaron Gregg and
July 14 at 5:11 PM
Airlines are planning for the possibility that Boeing’s beleaguered 737 Max commercial jetliners will remain out of commission late into the fall, as the company works to fix a host of technical problems that have rendered the planes grounded since early March.
The three U.S. airlines that operate Max jets — American Airlines, United and Southwest — announced in recent days they will cancel 737 Max flights through Nov. 2, Nov. 3 and Oct. 1, respectively, affecting hundreds of flights every day. The new cancellation dates reflect a significant revision from an expected summer timeline presented as a conservative estimate.
The airlines are waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to sign off on a Boeing-designed software fix for a flight control system that played a role in two deadly crashes. That fix was originally expected to be delivered no later than April, according to an FAA directive issued in early March, but the process has been complicated by the discovery of other technical problems.
A Boeing official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to publicly discuss the issue, said the company now expects to submit all of its required software updates for approval by the end of September. That could pave the way for the jets return to regular flight in November, the Boeing official said. American Airlines executives say the company remains confident the plane will be recertified to fly before the end of the year.
continues at washingtonpost.com