AA plans to be without Boeing 737 Max through summer

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American Airlines has extended the removal of Boeing 737 Max aircraft from its schedule through Sept. 3, a move that suggests recertification of the grounded plane is moving slower than the carrier had hoped. 

The extension means that American will cancel approximately 115 flights per day through Labor Day, which is the unofficial end of the summer travel. American had previously removed its 24 737 Max from its schedule through Aug. 19. 

In a statement Sunday, American said that it remains confident that impending software updates to the 737 Max, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with pilots unions, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon. "We have been in continuous contact with the FAA, DOT, National Transportation Safety Board and other regulatory authorities, and we are pleased with the progress to date," the carrier said. 

American is the first of the three U.S. Max operators to take the aircraft off its schedule through the full summer travel season. United, which flies 14 Max, has taken the plane off its schedule through Aug. 3. Southwest has removed its 34 Max aircraft from its schedule through Aug. 5. 

The 737 Max has been grounded worldwide since shortly after the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8. That crash followed the October crash of a Lion Air Max 8. A combined 346 people died in the two incidents.  

Boeing has since completed a software update for the plane and has recommended alterations to pilot-training procedures.

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