American Airlines Plans to Resume Boeing 737 Max Flights in 2020

A worker stands near a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner being built for American Airlines prior to a test flight in May in Renton

A worker stands near a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner being built for American Airlines prior to a test flight in May in Renton

Separately, American Airlines Group said yesterday it is extending cancellations of Boeing 737 MAX flights to Jan 15 as regulators continue to extensively review proposed software changes to the grounded plane.

The aerospace giant delivered 63 aircraft in its commercial programme in the three months ending Sept 30, down from 190 in the year-ago period, Boeing said in a statement.

That is six weeks later than American planned just last month, and the sixth time the airline has pushed back the plane's return.

In a regulatory filing out Wednesday, American said the grounding of 9,475 Max flights in the third quarter provided a $140 million hit to its pre-tax profit.

In an update for investors, the airline indicated that demand for tickets remains solid, with a key measure of revenue per seat rising about 2 per cent in the third quarter.

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In July, American said full-year profit would be reduced by about $400 million if the MAX remained grounded through November 2, and that figure is likely to increase now with a spillover effect into 2020. American has about 950 jets, not counting smaller American Eagle planes.

All Boeing 737 Max aircraft were grounded after two crashes involving the jets over the past year killed a total of 346 people. "The FAA is continuing to evaluate Boeing's software modification and is still developing necessary training requirements".

Southwest Airlines had already taken the MAX fleet out of its schedule until January 5 and United Airlines has done the same until December 19. Boeing has repeatedly said it hopes to resume flights in the fourth quarter, which began on October 1.

Boeing Co BA.N secured the first converted order in months for one of its grounded 737 MAX planes, company data for September showed on Tuesday, as it reported that total deliveries for the first nine months of 2019 had nearly halved from a year earlier.

On Monday, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association sued Boeing alleging that the planemaker "deliberately misled" the airline and pilots about its 737 MAX aircraft.

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