American, United Push Back 737 MAX Return Amid New Approval Delays

  • American, United Push Back 737 MAX Return Amid New Approval Delays

American, United Push Back 737 MAX Return Amid New Approval Delays

United Airlines pulled the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule until September 4, as the worldwide grounding of the popular jetliner threatens to drag on the busy summer travel season for a second year.

United Airlines won't restart flights using the Boeing 737 MAX, pictured here, until at least September 2020.

Days after an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crashed last March, killing all 157 occupants, the Boeing model was grounded worldwide.

Boeing is testing updates to flight-control software that played a role in the crashes by pushing the planes' noses down based on faulty readings from sensors.

The timing of a certification flight, a key step in the approval process, has been delayed repeatedly.

American followed a few hours later by saying it won't use the plane until August 18 - more than two months beyond its previous target of returning the plane in early June. American Airlines also said that its decision will result in around about 140 fewer flights daily.

One key issue yet to be resolved is whether Boeing must separate two wiring bundles that may be too close together, which could lead to a short circuit and crash if pilots do not respond appropriately.

Southwest said Boeing did build 27 of its new Max 8s on order and that they will be delivered after the ungrounding, giving it 61 planes it hopes to return to service as soon as possible after the plane is cleared to fly. On October 29, 2018, a Lion Air-operated 737 Max 8 crashed into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

United, which had 14 Max 9s when the plane was grounded, is the second carrier this week to remove the Max through most of the busy summer travel season.

Boeing spent $1.4 billion (£1.1 billion) on compensation for 737 MAX customers last year and Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith said this week the company expects "a good portion" of additional settlements to take place this year.