American, Southwest Airlines Plan to Resume Commercial Flights on 737 Max in March

Without the planes, Southwest said it will cancel about 175 flights each weekday

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NBC 5 News

American and Southwest airlines announced plans Friday to resume commercial flights of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft in March 2020.

Fort Worth-based American said their fleet of 24 Max jets will return to service on March 5, 2020, while Dallas-based Southwest planned for a March 6 return for its 34 aircraft.

The Boeing Max jets were grounded after two crashes killed 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

The world's biggest airline has struggled with thousands of cancellations this summer -- some caused by the loss of its Max jets and some due to what the airline claims is an illegal work slowdown by mechanics angling for a better labor contract.

American Airlines Group Inc. posted third-quarter profits of $425 million, or 96 cents per share. Adjusted per-share profit was $1.42, topping Wall Street expectations for $1.38, according to Zacks Investment Research. Revenue was $11.91 billion, a sliver shy of expectations.

Southwest said in October that it will keep its Max aircraft out of its schedule until Feb. 8, but announced the later date Friday.

Southwest said it's monitoring information from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration about software improvements and pilot-training requirements that will be part of returning the plane to flight.

Without the planes, Southwest said it will cancel about 175 flights each weekday.

Southwest previously expected more Max planes to be delivered this year.

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