Just yesterday, American Airlines announced that its Boeing 737 MAX cancellations will be further extended. Previously, the airline had canceled flights through December 3 of this year. However, predictably, the airline just extended flight cancellations through at least January 15.
Due to the grounding of the 737 MAX, American previously stated that it would cancel 140 flights a day through December 3. While that might seem like a lot of flights, it only represents a small percentage compared to the airline's 6,700 daily flights it offers on average.
In a statement posted on its website, American Airlines said it expects the 737 MAX to be recertified after software updates are applied. The airline is expecting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to certify the plane sometime later this year. American plans to slowly phase the 737 MAX back into commercial service starting on January 16, and will increase flights using the aircraft through the month of January and into February.
American stated that those who are booked on flights that were scheduled for its 737 MAX planes through January 6 will fly on an older 737-800 with the same seating configuration. Those flying between January 7 and January 15 will probably be rebooked on a different aircraft. American will contact flyers whose flights have been canceled.
At time of writing, United Airlines still has plans to use the Boeing 737 MAX sooner. The airline is expecting them back after December 19, while Southwest Airlines doesn't have any 737 MAX flights scheduled until January 5.
While the FAA may recertify the 737 MAX later in the year, other agencies around the world may want to take a deeper look. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency is conducting an independent review, which may take some time and could ultimately delay the whole process.