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American Airlines to cancel 115 flights daily

15 April 2019

American Airlines is extending the cancellation of its Boeing 737 Max 8 flights from June until mid-August.

Carriers that have used the aircraft since it went into service two years ago have had to rethink their flight plans since alarms were raised over its safety in the wake of two fatal crashes.

America's leading airline had previously only planned to keep the planes out of commission until June 5, with Boeing facing intense scrutiny after 157 people died in an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash on March 10 - the second deadly crash involving the aircraft in five months.

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An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX airplanes parked on the tarmac at the Boeing Factory in Renton, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019.

American is the third major US airline to announce a suspension of 737 MAX flights. Southwest Airlines, the largest operator of Boeing jets, announced last week that it would cancel its Max flights through August 5. According to the airline, they're taking the MAX out of its schedule until August to reduce the need for last-minute changes during the summer travel season and to make the schedule more reliable. The airline said about 115 flights per day would be canceled. "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".

Investigators are focusing on the plane's anti-stall software, the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). Both American and Southwest said their reservations and sales teams will work with customers to manage travel plans.

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American said it remains "confident" that software updates and new training for the Boeing planes "will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon".

American also said on its website that customers can request a full refund if they choose not to be rebooked.

American Airlines passengers on Sunday took to Twitter to post complaints about cancelled flights impacting on their holidays, speaking engagements and travel to funerals, and noted problems re-booking flights. American cancelled 350 out of Dallas-Fort Worth Saturday, but that had nothing to do with the Max, said spokesman Ross Feinsten.

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"We're working as hard as possible to rebook customers", Feinstein said.

American Airlines to cancel 115 flights daily