Tag Archives: Boeing 737-8 MAX 8

Reuters: U.S. airlines face too many travelers, too few planes in 737 MAX summer dilemma

From Reuters:

Normally, U.S. airlines compete to sell tickets and fill seats during the peak summer travel season. But operators of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX are facing a different problem: scarce planes and booming demand.

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

“The revenue is right in front of them. They can see it, but they can’t meet it,” said Mike Trevino, spokesman for Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and an aviation industry veteran.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8718Q (msn 42546) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 944333.

Above Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8718Q (msn 42546) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 944333.

Southwest Airlines Co, the world’s largest MAX operator, and American Airlines Group Inc with 34 and 24 MAX jetliners respectively, have removed the aircraft from their flying schedules into August. United Airlines said on Monday it would remove its 14 MAX jets through early July.

Southwest’s decision will lead to 160 cancellations of some 4,200 daily flights between June 8 and Aug. 5, while American’s removal through Aug. 19 means about 115 daily cancellations, or 1.5 percent of its summer flying schedule each day.

Low-cost carrier Southwest, which unlike its rivals only flies Boeing 737s, had estimated $150 million in lost revenue between Feb. 20 and March 31 alone due to MAX cancellations and other factors.

So far airlines have said it is too soon to estimate the impact of the MAX grounding beyond the first quarter, but the extended cancellations signal that they do not expect a quick return of Boeing’s fast-selling jetliner. The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March following a fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash just five months after a Lion Air crash in Indonesia. All on board both planes were killed.

Boeing is under pressure to deliver an upgrade on software that is under scrutiny in both crashes and convince global regulators that the plane is safe to fly again, a process expected to take at least 90 days.

The timing of a prolonged grounding could not be worse for Northern Hemisphere carriers. Planes run fullest during June, July and August, when airlines earn the most revenue per available seat mile, according to U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

In a letter to employees and customers on Sunday, American Airlines’ top executives said they believed the MAX would be recertified “soon” but wanted to provide their customers reliability and confidence during “the busiest travel period of the year.”

American Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N303RE (msn 44447) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 945355.

Above Copyright Photo: American Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N303RE (msn 44447) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 945355.

American was cancelling about 90 flights per day through early June, but runs more flights and has less fleet flexibility in the peak summer travel months.

“We’re not denying that it’s going to be a challenge for us,” American spokesman Ross Feinstein said. “That is why if we have to extend cancellations based on aircraft availability we will do so as far in advance as possible.”

A decline in seat capacity could mean higher last-minute summer fares, particularly for business class travelers, aviation consultants and analysts said.

United 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.

“We’ve used spare aircraft and other creative solutions to help our customers, who had been scheduled to travel on one of our 14 MAX aircraft, get where they are going. But, it’s harder to make those changes at the peak of the busy summer travel season,” United said on Monday.

  

Overall the MAX represents just 5 percent of Southwest’s total fleet and even less for American and United, but the strain on fleets increases as additional MAX deliveries remain frozen.

Southwest has 41 MAX jets pending delivery for 2019, while American has 16 and United 14. They are each working with Boeing and regulators to ensure the aircraft’s safety before flying it with customers and employees.

Meanwhile, operators have added a flight or two to other aircrafts’ daily schedules and deferred some non-essential maintenance work. Some airlines are also weighing extending aircraft leases and bringing back idled planes, but with unclear MAX timing, no option is clear-cut or cheap, consultants said.

United is due to publish first-quarter results on April 16, followed by Southwest on April 25 and American on April 26.

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Chris Sanders, Susan Thomas and Nick Zieminski

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American cancels all Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 flights now through August 19

The following message was issued by American’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom to American team members on Sunday, April 14:

Dear fellow team members,

As we prepare for summer, our focus is around planning for the busiest travel period of the year. Families everywhere are counting on American Airlines for their summer vacations, family reunions, trips to visit friends and adventures overseas. Our commitment to each other and to our customers is to operate the safest and most reliable operation in our history.

To further that mission, we have made the decision to extend our cancellations for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft through August 19, 2019. Based upon our ongoing work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing, we are highly confident that the MAX will be recertified prior to this time. But by extending our cancellations through the summer, we can plan more reliably for the peak travel season and provide confidence to our customers and team members when it comes to their travel plans. 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.

The planning team is working on this action now and in total, approximately 115 flights per day will be canceled through August 19. These 115 flights represent approximately 1.5 percent of American’s total flying each day this summer.

We remain confident that the impending software updates, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing for the MAX, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon. We have been in continuous contact with the FAA, Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), other regulatory authorities and are pleased with the progress so far.

Our Reservations and Sales teams will continue to work closely with customers to manage their travel plans, and we appreciate their outstanding efforts to care for our customers. Your professionalism and care for customers is second to none, and we thank you for all you do every day for our customers and for each other.

Southwest takes the MAX 8 out of its schedule until at least August 5

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8708Q (msn 42566) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 940318.

Southwest Airlines has made this announcement:

MAX Summer Schedule Revision: An Update from Our President Tom Nealon

I want to take a moment to provide an update on our current plans surrounding the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. As you might know, Southwest removed the MAX from service on March 13, 2019.

Our Teams are working to further increase the Reliability of our schedule and reduce the amount of last-minute flight changes—especially during the upcoming summer travel season. With that in mind, we’ve now modified our schedule through August 5, 2019 to add further stability for Customers booking their summer travel.

While the timing for the return to service of the MAX remains unclear, what is very clear is our commitment to operate a reliable schedule and provide the famous Customer Service you expect from us. Our revised summer schedule allows us to accomplish those objectives.

The limited number of Customers, who have already booked their travel and will be affected by this amended schedule, are being proactively notified so that we can reaccommodate their flight plans well in advance of their travel date.

While the vast majority of our Customers’ itineraries have remained unaffected, flight schedule changes have inconvenienced some of our valued Customers, and, for that, I offer my sincerest apologies.

Safety has always been our most sacred responsibility to both our Employees and our Customers, and we will continue to remain in full compliance with all FAA directives and any additional requirements necessary to return this aircraft to service.

Again, our goal is to deliver the excellent Customer Service that you’ve come to know and expect from us and we remain steadfastly committed to that. We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and we invite you to visit Southwest.com for the latest updates.

Thanks for your patience and understanding during this time, and please know that the entire Southwest Team looks forward to serving you soon.

Tom

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8708Q (msn 42566) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 940318.

Southwest aircraft slide show:

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Air Canada updates its schedule for May in response to ongoing grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Air Canada Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-FSOC (msn 61224) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 945960.

Air Canada has issued this statement:

Air Canada said today that due to Transport Canada’s continued closure of Canadian airspace to the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, it has further adjusted its schedule through to May 31. The carrier anticipates it will cover 98 percent of previously planned flying for the month through a series of mitigation measures, schedule changes and temporary route suspensions.

“Air Canada assures its customers that we are doing everything possible to mitigate the effects of the 737 MAX grounding, and we appreciate our customers’ patience and flexibility as we continue to work on transporting them safely to their destinations. By adjusting our schedule for the month of May, we are providing certainty for our customers so they can continue to book and travel with confidence on Air Canada,” said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.

In compliance with the safety notice issued by Transport Canada on March 13, 2019, Air Canada grounded its fleet of 24 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Boeing has advised that deliveries of its 737 MAX are currently suspendedAir Canada was expecting six new aircraft in March and April.

Air Canada is now updating its June schedule to optimize its fleet and re-accommodate customers. Because the timeline for the return to service of the 737 MAX is unknown, for planning purposes and to provide customers certainty for booking and travel, Air Canada has removed 737 MAX flying from its schedule until at least July 1, 2019. Final decisions on returning the 737 MAX to service will be based on Air Canada’s safety assessment following the lifting of government safety notices and approval by international regulatory authorities.

Among the measures taken by Air Canada:

Mitigations

To mitigate the impact, Air Canada has been substituting different aircraft on 737 MAX routes. This includes flying routes with similar-sized or larger aircraft. To help provide this replacement flying, the carrier has extended leases for aircraft which were scheduled to exit the fleet. Air Canada is also accelerating the in-take of recently acquired Airbus A321 aircraft from WOW Air into its fleet.

Air Canada Airbus A321-211 C-GJVX (msn 1726) YVR (Rob Rindt). Image: 941073.

Above Copyright Photo: Air Canada Airbus A321-211 C-GJVX (msn 1726) YVR (Rob Rindt). Image: 941073.

Working with our Partner Airlines

The carrier has worked with other carriers to provide immediate extra capacity and provide alternative options to passengers. For example, its MontrealFrankfurt flight for the month of May will be operated by Star Alliance partner Lufthansa.

Schedule Changes until June 30

The airline has implemented a number of route changes to date, either changing operating times or substituting larger aircraft with fewer frequencies on routes operated more frequently by smaller aircraft. For example, beginning in May two daily flights between Toronto and Calgary have been consolidated onto one larger Airbus A330, leaving nine daily flights.

In some cases, seasonal route launches have been delayed. This includes: TorontoPortland, which will now start July 1 instead of May 24; VancouverBoston, which will now start June 16 instead of June 1; and CalgaryHalifax, which will now start July 1 instead of May 18. The seasonal start of the carrier’s TorontoShannon route and new MontrealBordeaux service will both be delayed until early July.

In addition, selected frequencies on domestic routes such as TorontoEdmonton, will be served by Air Canada Rouge aircraft.

Route Suspensions

In a small number of cases, Air Canada has temporarily suspended service on certain 737 MAX routes where alternative aircraft are not presently available. This includes flights from Halifax and St. John’s to London Heathrow, for which it is re-accommodating customers over its Toronto and Montreal hubs. These routes are now suspended to May 31, but Air Canada remains committed to these routes.

Customer Information

As changes are finalized in the flight schedule, customers whose flight times or flight numbers have changed can expect to receive an email detailing their updated itinerary. This information is also available in My Bookings on the Air Canada app or Air Canada website. Customers are advised, whether they have booked directly through Air Canada or not, to ensure their contact information is on their booking to facilitate communication of any flight changes.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Canada Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-FSOC (msn 61224) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 945960.

Air Canada aircraft slide show:

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Airlines are beginning to move their MAX aircraft into longer term storage

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8721J (msn 42548) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945963.

Southwest Airlines is one of several airlines worldwide moving their Boeing 737 MAX into storage. Southwest Airlines has moved at least 6 MAX 8 aircraft to the dry desert environment of Victorville, CA for storage according to Flightradar24:

Where are the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft? Flightradar24 has compiled a list based on the last movements of each aircraft: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8721J (msn 42548) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945963.

Southwest aircraft slide show:

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Garuda Indonesia wants to cancel its remaining order for 49 Boeing 737 MAX 8s

Garuda Indonesia's first Boeing 737-8 MAX 8

Garuda Indonesia Airways has publicly stated it plans to cancel its remaining order of 49 Boeing 737 MAX 8s after losing confidence in the new type after two tragic crashes.

The airline ordered 50 of the new type in 2014. The flag carrier has already taken delivery of one (PK-GDA) but it is grounded.

Boeing is planning to visit the airline on March 28 to discuss the cancellation request.

Top Copyright Photo: Garuda Indonesia Airways Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N6046P (PK-GDA) (msn 62093) BFI (Brandon Farris). Image: 940065.

Garuda Indonesia aircraft slide show:

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Air Canada updates its schedule following the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Air Canada Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-FSJJ (msn 61217) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945958.

Air Canada said today that it has adjusted its schedule through to April 30 to cover 98 percent of its planned flying following Transport Canada’s closure of Canadian airspace to Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operations. In compliance with the safety notice, Air Canada has grounded its 24 737 MAX aircraft and Boeing has advised that deliveries of its 737 MAX are currently suspended. Air Canada was expecting six new aircraft in March and April.

Air Canada is now updating its May schedule to further optimize its fleet and re-accommodate customers. Because the timeline for the return to service of the 737 MAX is unknown, for planning purposes and to provide customers certainty for booking and travel, Air Canada intends to remove 737 MAX flying from its schedule until at least July 1, 2019. 

“The Boeing 737 MAX accounted for six percent of Air Canada’s total flying, but there is a domino effect from removing the 737s from our fleet that impacts the schedule and ultimately will impact some customers. We have been working very hard to minimize that impact,” said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.

“To bring certainty to our schedule for our customers when booking and travelling, we are revising our schedule until July and we have taken several steps to continue delivering substantially all of our planned capacity through our global network.

“Customers who have travel plans between now and July can be reassured that we will keep them informed every step of the way as we revise our schedule. We have a deep global network and many partner airlines to provide solutions so serving our customers and minimizing any disruption is our first priority. We remain committed to delivering the same safe, reliable transportation customers expect from Air Canada. Customers can continue to book and travel on Air Canada with full confidence,” said Ms. Guillemette.

Among the measures taken by Air Canada:

Mitigations

To mitigate the impact, Air Canada has been substituting different aircraft on 737 MAX routes. This includes flying routes with similar-sized or larger aircraft. To help provide this replacement flying, the carrier has extended leases for aircraft which were scheduled to exit the fleet.

Air Canada is also accelerating the in-take of recently acquired Airbus A321 aircraft from WOW Airlines into its fleet and has hired other carriers to provide immediate extra capacity. For example, Air Transat has been chartered on a temporary basis to operate one daily frequency between Vancouver and Montreal beginning March 20 until March 31. In addition, Air Canada has leased an aircraft from Air Transat from April 1 to April 30 in order to operate the Montreal to Cancun route.

Schedule Changes

The airline has implemented a number of route changes to date, either changing operating times or substituting larger aircraft with fewer frequencies on routes operated more frequently by smaller aircraft. In some cases, it has deployed Air Canada Rouge aircraft to serve mainline routes. The airline is also currently finalizing a new routing for the return leg of its TorontoDelhi service, which continues to be impacted by the closure of Pakistani airspace. This flight will remain nonstop between Toronto and Delhi but now stop in Vancouver rather than Copenhagen on the return leg.

Route Suspensions

In a small number of cases, Air Canada has temporarily suspended until further notice service on certain 737 MAX routes where alternative aircraft are not presently available. This includes flights from Halifax and St. John’s to London Heathrow, for which it is re-accommodating customers over its Toronto and Montreal hubs. Air Canada remains committed to these routes and will resume service as soon as possible. It also includes seasonal flights from Vancouver to Kona, Lihue and Calgary-Palm Springs, with customers re-accommodated on other routings.

Customer Information

As changes are finalized in the flight schedule, customers whose flight times or flight numbers have changed can expect to receive an email detailing their updated itinerary. This information is also available in My Bookings on the Air Canada app or Air Canada website. Customers are advised, whether they have booked directly through Air Canada or not, to ensure their contact information is on their booking to facilitate communication of any flight changes.

Air Canada has put in place a flexible rebooking policy with full fee waiver and a refund option for affected customers. Customers originally scheduled to travel on a 737 MAX can call Air Canada at 1-833-354-5963 for information within 72 hours of their planned flight. Customers who have booked flights through a Travel Agent should contact them for immediate assistance.

Air Canada has a fleet of 24 Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft, which have been in operation since 2017. Air Canada has a total fleet of 400 aircraft (including 24 737 MAX), comprising Air Canada mainline, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express aircraft.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Air Canada Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-FSJJ (msn 61217) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945958.

Air Canada aircraft slide show:

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