Donald Trump says Boeing should overhaul 737 MAX planes

Sergio Conner
April 15, 2019

All 157 passengers on board the Ethiopia Airlines flight died last month when the Boeing 737 Max crashed minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi.

Carriers that have used the aircraft since it went into service two years ago have had to rethink their flight plans since alarms were raised over its safety in the wake of two fatal crashes.

American explained on its website that not all flights previously scheduled on a Max would be cancelled, because the airline plans to substitute other aircraft for some flights.

The move is to "provide confidence" to customers during the peak summer travel season, the airline said in a letter.

US President Donald Trump lambasted the Boeing 737 MAX plane on Monday, saying it should be improved with unspecified new features and given a new name. The FAA have convened a meeting on April 12 with safety representatives of the three US -based airlines that have the Boeing 737 MAX in their fleets, as well as the pilot unions for those airlines. Southwest Airlines, the largest operator of Boeing jets, announced last week that it would cancel its Max flights through August 5. It earlier removed the Max from its flight schedules through June 5.

The grounding of Boeing Co's fuel-efficient, single-aisle workhorse after two fatal crashes is biting into US airlines' Northern Hemisphere spring and summer schedules, threatening to disarm them in their seasonal war for profits.

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"These 115 flights represent approximately 1.5 per cent of American's total flying each day this summer", American Airlines chairman and CEO Doug Parker said in a statement.

Airlines are being forced to ground their planes longer than expected after Boeing and the FAA said the company needs more time to complete changes to a flight-control system suspected of playing a role in the crashes.

The airline says its reservations and sales teams will work with customers to manage their travel plans.

The airline said it will bring the Max aircraft back on line as spares to supplement its operations once it is receritfied.

American cancelled 350 flights out of Dallas-Fort Worth on Saturday, but that had nothing to do with the MAX, said spokesman Ross Feinsten.

"We're working as hard as possible to rebook customers", he added.

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