United Airlines has pulled the Boeing 737 MAX out of its schedule until November 3rd and thsi time the cuts are real and painful.
It was only a couple weeks ago that I wrote about United pilling the 737 MAX from the schedule until September 3rd. But as the re-certification process for that aircraft continues to hit snarls, United has pushed back its restart day two more months.
As the months go by, the cancellations will become progressively worse. That is not just because “spare” aircraft will have been re-allocated to scheduled flying assignments. It is primarily because United was expected to receive more 737 MAX this year. Deliveries from Boeing have been on hold since November.
Thus, United will cancel roughly according to this schedule:
- July – cancel 40-45 flights a day, or roughly 1,290 flights for the month
- August – cancel approximately 60 flights a day, or roughly 1,900 flights for the month
- September – cancel approximately 70 flights a day, or roughly 2,100 flights for the month
- October – cancel approximately 95 flights a day, or roughly 2,900 flights for the month
In a note to employees obtained by Live and Let’s Fly, United explained it would continue to try to mitigate cancellations where possible through upgauging other other flights:
We are continuing to work through the schedule to try and swap and upgauge aircraft to mitigate the disruption caused by the grounding of the MAX. We continue to automatically book affected customers on alternate flights. If we are unable to place them on a different flight, we will proactively reach out to try and offer other options.
United is taking the more realistic approach here than American and Southwest. Southwest has taken the 737 MAX out of the schedule through October 1st. American has only removed the 737 MAX from the schedule until September 3rd. My prediction, as Boeing continues to be experience setbacks, is that a 2020 resumption date is more realistic.