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New York (CNN) - American Airlines announced this Sunday that it will extend flight cancellations on its Boeing 737 Max aircraft until December 3.
While the announcement leaves open the possibility for American to resume flights on that model plane for the holiday season, it also underlines the length of time that the 737 Max will remain without flying, which is now in its sixth month. Originally, Boeing hoped to get approval for the plane to fly again months ago.
American had previously canceled 115 daily flights on the aircraft until November 2. This latest move will result in approximately 140 US flights canceled per day, the airline said. By announcing cancellations so far, American Airlines has time to assign new aircraft to the 737 Max routes or re-give new reservations to customers whose flights were canceled. American said customers on canceled flights can rebook or receive a refund.
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United Airlines took a similar step on Friday, canceling 90 daily flights for the 737 Max until December 19. Southwest, which has more 737 Max aircraft in its fleet than any other US airline, has canceled about 180 daily flights until January 5.
The Boeing 737 Max stopped flying worldwide in March, after two fatal accidents in less than six months. The grounding stopped the delivery of new planes and forced the cancellation of thousands of flights across the planet.
Boeing has promised that it will have a software solution for the plane to the Federal Aviation Administration early next month, and expects the plane to fly again this fall.
A group of American Airlines Boeing 737 Max aircraft.
Even after the safety regulators approve the correction, it will take time to train the pilots in the new software and prepare the planes to fly again.
Last month, American Airlines became the first airline in the United States to abandon a route altogether due to the ground immobilization of the Boeing 737 Max. The world's largest airline canceled flights once a day from Oakland to Dallas and back at least until September 3, because it needed to use the plane that had been flying that route for other flights with higher demand.
American AirlinesBoeing 737 MAX