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. American Airlines on Sunday said it was cancelling flights on Boeing 737 Max aircraft through August 19 while it waited for Boeing and the US' Federal Aviation Administration to fix and recertify the aircrafts' flight-control systems.
In a letter to employees and customers, Chief Executive Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said they believe the 737 MAX will be recertified before August 19, but they want to ensure reliability "for the peak travel season and provide confidence to our customers and team members when it comes to their travel plans". Yet those close ties were seen through a more critical lens as Boeing and U.S. regulators appeared slow to react to the March 10 crash of a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet in Ethiopia.
American Airlines has announced it will cancel 115 flights a day until mid-August due to ongoing problems with the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
The FAA is working with Boeing as it develops a software upgrade and proposes to increase the level of training that 737 Max pilots must receive.
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.
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The report said it was unclear when the aircraft will return, as Boeing has slowed production and stopped deliveries as it works on a software fix.
CNBC reported Boeing said Thursday it has completed 96 flights with the new Max software fix. A Boeing executive speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly said late last month that the training component of that update had been "provisionally approved" by regulators.
American has 24 MAX jets and had previously planned to cancel MAX flights through early June.
Boeing is expected to submit a software update to the FAA in the next few weeks for review and possibly approval.
"This has without a doubt damaged Boeing's reputation and we foresee a dent to the (Boeing) brand's value at over $12 billion (£9 billion)", Chief Executive David Haigh said by email when asked about Trump's comments.