United doesn’t plan to fly the Boeing 737 Max again until Labor Day weekend

United Airlines on Friday said it won’t bring the Boeing 737 Max back until Labor Day weekend.

The Chicago-based airline most recently had the plane returning in early June, but executives said in late January they were likely to remove the plane from its schedule through the summer travel season due to changes in Boeing’s expected timeline for the plane’s ungrounding.

The Max has been grounded since March 2019 following two fatal crashes, on Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, in five months that killed 346 people.

United said pushing the Max return until Sept. 4 will impact about 80 daily flights. Affected passengers will automatically be rebooked on an alternate flight or offered other options, including a refund even if the ticket is nonrefundable.

United has 14 Boeing 737 Max 9s in its fleet and more on order.

United, which had 14 Max 9s when the plane was grounded, is the second carrier this week to remove the Max through most of the busy summer travel season. On Thursday, Southwest Airlines said it pushing the plane’s return from early June to Aug. 11, a move that will impact nearly 400 daily Southwest flights. 

Southwest had the most Max aircraft of any U.S. carrier, 34, at the time of the grounding and had hoped to double that count by the end of 2019. Boeing hasn’t been able to deliver any planes during the grounding.

Southwest said Boeing did build 27 of its new Max 8s on order and that they will be delivered after the ungrounding, giving it 61 planes it hopes to return to service as soon as possible after the plane is cleared to fly.

American Airlines, which had 24 Max planes at the grounding, still has the plane scheduled to return in early June, but company officials have also said they will likely have to extend it.

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