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The largest U.S. airline, which operates 24 Max jets, said it would result in about 90 flights each day being canceled, based on its current schedule, and said the decision was made in order to avoid last-minute flight disruptions.
“By proactively canceling these flights, we are able to provide better service to our customers with availability and rebooking options,” American said in a statement.
The airline said in late March that it was extending its cancellation of flights through April 24, which also affected 90 flights each day.
The Federal Aviation Administration followed many other countries in grounding the Max jets following two accidents that occurred within five months of each other. An Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed last month killing 157 people. Prior to that, in October, a Lion Air Max jet crashed off the coast of Indonesia killing 189 people.
Both accidents were linked to the aircraft’s flight-control software, known as MCAS, that was designed to prevent the aircraft from stalling. Boeing said it was working on changes to the system, which will now rely on multiple angle of attack sensors, will push the aircraft’s nose down only once and will make changes more subtly, giving pilots more control.
Boeing said last week it would cut production of the 737 Max starting in mid-April to 42 airplanes per month from the current 52 per month. The company’s CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, said the 737 program and related production teams would not face any layoffs.
“We are coordinating closely with our customers as we work through plans to mitigate the impact of this adjustment,” Muilenburg said in a statement. “We will also work directly with our suppliers on their production plans to minimize operational disruption and financial impact of the production rate change.”