01:23 GMT +317 July 2019
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    A Boeing 737 MAX returns from a flight test at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington

    American Airlines Grounds Boeing 737 MAX Flights Through August 19

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - American Airlines has extended through 19 August the cancellation of Boeing 737 MAX flights but said US regulators were close to recertifying the jet after two deadly crashes.

    "We have made the decision to extend our cancellations for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft through Aug. 19. 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", its top managers said in a letter.

    The air carrier has 24 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet. A total of 115 flights will not take off daily during the peak travel season.

    The company said it was pleased with the progress made by Boeing in updating its software and training pilots.

    "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", it stressed.

    READ MORE: Boeing Awarded $14 Billion US Defence Contract Amid 737 MAX Controversy

    The FAA grounded Boeing 737 MAX jets after they were involved in two fatal crashes within five months blamed on the jet’s aggressive anti-stall system that caused them to nosedive.

    Boeing's market value took a tumble following the crash of a 737 MAX plane — operated by Ethiopian Airlines — on March 10 in which all the 157 people on board died.

    The incident was the second involving a 737 MAX within a five-month period. On 29 October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed off the coast of Indonesia, killing all 189 passengers and crew members.

    Last week, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg announced that the company will temporarily reduce the production rate of its 737 MAX airplanes by almost 20 percent to focus on delivering a promised software fix that will eliminate the possibility of an unintended action by the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). Preliminary investigations have identified MCAS as the possible cause of both accidents.


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