Southwest Airlines has also joined American and Air Canada by once again revising the re-introduction date of its Boeing 737 MAX fleet.
The airline initially hoped to have resumed flights on January 6, 2020, but based on the pace of the aircraft’s re-certification, they have opted to push back the date to February 8, 2020. Even though regulators are hoping to have the MAX back in the air by end of 2019, the airline would still need time to get its planes transitioned from storage into active use.
Southwest Airlines continues to monitor information from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the impending 737 MAX software enhancements and training requirements. We remain confident that, once certified by the FAA, the enhancements will support the safe operation of the MAX.
We previously revised our flight schedule by removing the MAX through Jan. 5, 2020 to offer reliability to our operation and stability for our Customers. With the timing of the MAX’s return-to-service still uncertain, we are extending the MAX-related flight schedule adjustments through Feb. 8, 2020.
By proactively removing the MAX from scheduled service, we can reduce last-minute flight cancellations and unexpected disruptions to our Customers’ travel plans. The limited number of Customers who have already booked their travel and will be affected by our amended schedule will be notified of their re-accommodated travel according to our flexible accommodation procedures. The revision will proactively remove roughly 175 weekday flights from our schedule out of our total peak-day schedule of more than 4,000 daily flights.
We offer our apologies to our Customers impacted by this change, and we thank them for their continued patience.
Southwest has already taken delivery of 34 Boeing 737 MAX 8s (which have since been put into storage), but there are a further 22 (a combination of MAX 7s and MAX8s) at the Boeing factory going through various final stages of the production and testing process.