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2 US airlines ground Boeing 737 Max till March 2020

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Washington, Nov 9 (IANS) US’s Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have announced to ground the Boeing 737 aircraft until March 2020.

Southwest Airlines said on Friday that it would eliminate all Boeing 737 Max aircraft from its flight schedule until March 6, which will delay the return of the plane to normal service for longer than any other US carrier, while American Airlines will do the same until March 5, reports Efe news.

Southwest previously said that it would ground the model until February 8, 2020 while American Airlines had cut Max 737s until January 15.

The model was globally grounded after crashes of two Max 737s – Lion Air flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 in March 2019 – killed 346 people.

The Southwest Airlines fleet consists entirely of Boeing 737s and has had to cancel thousands of flights as a result of the grounding.

It is the largest customer of the aircraft in the US with 34 in its fleet and 200 orders pending when air authorities made the decision not to allow the planes to fly in the wake of the two fatal accidents.

At the end of October, documents emerged that detailed engineers expressing concern about the faulty Max 737 MCAS flight-control system before the two crashes.

The accidents plunged the aeronautical company into a crisis, with the wide ban on the planes interrupting deliveries of Max 737s as well as the operations of numerous airlines.
 

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