The chief of Ethiopian Airlines says the warning and training requirements set for the now-grounded 737 Max aircraft may not have been enough following the Ethiopian plane crash that killed 157 people.
Senior officials at American Airlines said they were "confident" that the Boeing upgrade would be approved by U.S. aviation regulators before 19 August, despite its decision to ground its fleet of 24 planes until then.
The likelihood is increasing The Boeing Company might develop a brand new passenger jet aircraft to replace the Boeing 738 MAX 8, whose reputation was severely damaged following two horrific crashes in the space of five months that left 346 persons dead.
American is the third major US airline to announce a suspension of 737 MAX flights. On the other hand, airlines whose 371 grounded 737 MAX remain grounded have initiated compensation proceedings to collect damages from Boeing.
Boeing last week admitted a newly installed autopilot system was responsible for the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018 and the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019.
Last week, Boeing investors filed a class-action lawsuit in Chicago alleging Boeing defrauded its shareholders by failing to reveal potential safety shortcomings of the 737 MAX after the two fatal crashes.
United Airlines, with 14 MAX jets, has largely avoided cancellations by servicing MAX routes with larger 777 or 787 aircraft, but the airline president, Scott Kirby, warned last week that the strategy was costing it money and could not go on forever.
Normally U.S. airlines compete to sell tickets and fill seats during the peak summer travel season. "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". United canceled all MAX flights through June 5, and Southwest canceled through August 5.
American also said on its website that customers can request a full refund if they choose not to be rebooked. American cancelled 350 out of Dallas-Fort Worth Saturday, but that had nothing to do with the Max, said spokesman Ross Feinsten.