Southwest Airlines will keep the 737 MAX off its schedule through Labor Day. The largest US domestic carrier joins the world’s largest airline, American, in extending its grounding expectations for the aircraft.
The airline is now set to reintroduce the MAX to its schedule on September 2.
In a statement on Thursday, Southwest said that the decision was made in an effort to provide clarity for its passengers, even as the industry faces uncertainty from regulators about exactly when the workhorse jet will be allowed to return to the skies.
“By proactively removing the MAX from scheduled service, we can reduce last-minute flight cancellations and unexpected disruptions to our customers’ travel plans,” the statement said. “We are encouraged by the reported progress and proposed path forward for returning the aircraft to service, and we remain confident that, once certified by the FAA, the enhancements will support the safe operation of the MAX.”
Boeing’s 737 MAXes have been grounded globally since March over safety concerns following two fatal accidents involving the jets.
Featured image by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images