American Airlines' announcement comes after both United Airlines and Southwest Airlines announced this week that they would be canceling 737 Max flights until September 4 and August 11, respectively. American Airlines also said that its decision will result in around about 140 fewer flights daily.
Although Boeing has claimed that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would recertify the plane in mid-2020, the regulatory body has yet to outline a clear timeline for regulation.
“The agency is following a thorough, deliberate process to verify that all proposed modifications to the Boeing 737 MAX meet the highest certification standards. We continue to work with other safety regulators to review Boeing’s work as the company conducts the required safety assessments and addresses all issues that arise during testing," the FAA said in a January statement.
American Airlines owns 24 737 Max jets. Southwest Airlines also owns 24 jets, while United Airlines has 14 Max planes. On Friday, United, American and Southwest shares dropped by 1.8%, 3% and 1%, respectively.
“With the Max return to service date still unknown, pushing our timeline back to early September is what is best for our customers and our operation,” Leslie Scott, director for United’s global response communications, told CNBC Friday.
Meanwhile, the Boeing 737 Max fleet has been grounded since March 13, 2019, after two crashes of the plane killed 346 people in 2018 and 2019.
A Boeing 737 Max 8 plane operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed on March 10, 2019, after taking off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at around 8:30 a.m. local time, killing all 157 people onboard. According to Ethiopian Airlines, contact with the plane was lost at 8:44 a.m., just a few minutes after it took off. On October 29, 2018, a Lion Air-operated 737 Max 8 crashed into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. All 189 people onboard were killed.