American extends cancellations for 737 Max, Trump urges Boeing rebrand

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American Airlines has extended the cancellations for Boeing 737 Max aircraft until August based on ongoing work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing.

Use of the 737 Max has been suspended by aviation authorities around the globe after two crashes. An Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 came down last month killing 157 on board and a Lion Air crash in October killed 189.

Chairman and chief executive officer Doug Parker and president Robert Isom said yesterday (14 April): “We have made the decision to extend our cancellations for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft through Aug. 19.

“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.

“But by extending our cancellations through the summer, we can plan more reliably for the peak travel season and provide confidence to our customers and team members when it comes to their travel plans. Once the MAX is recertified, we anticipate bringing our MAX aircraft back on line as spares to supplement our operation as needed during the summer.

“The planning team is working on this action now and in total, approximately 115 flights per day will be canceled through Aug. 19. These 115 flights represent approximately 1.5 percent of American’s total flying each day this summer.

“We remain confident that the impending software updates, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing for the MAX, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon.

“We have been in continuous contact with the FAA, Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), other regulatory authorities and are pleased with the progress so far.”

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has tweeted that he believes Boeing should rebrand the 737 Max.

Trump said: “What do I know about branding, maybe nothing (but I did become President!), but if I were Boeing, I would FIX the Boeing 737 MAX, add some additional great features, & REBRAND the plane with a new name.

“No product has suffered like this one. But again, what the hell do I know?”

Boeing has been severely hit by the grounding of the Max 8. In March, there were 371 in operation globally and hundreds more are on order. The US aircraft manufacturer is developing software to correct the problems encountered by pilots on take-off.