Southwest pulls Boeing Max 8 planes from schedule until August

Southwest pulls Boeing Max 8 planes from schedule until August
In this Saturday, March 23, 2019, photo, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max aircraft lands at the Southern California Logistics Airport in the high desert town of Victorville, Calif. Southwest, which has 34 Max aircraft, is making cancellations five days in advance, with an average of 130 daily cancellations. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman) (Matt Hartman)

Author: Tegna

Published: 10:12 PM CDT April 11, 2019

Updated: 10:12 PM CDT April 11, 2019

Southwest Airlines announced Thursday that it has removed all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes from its schedule through August 5.

The Federal Aviation Administration and regulators around the world grounded the troubled Max jet last month after deadly crashes involving the plane in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

When the grounding was announced, Southwest had said it had 34 Max 8 aircraft, which accounted for less than five percent of its daily flights.

Southwest president Tom Nealon said in a message on the airline's website that they chose to revise the summer schedule to increase the reliability of their schedule and reduce the amount of last-minute flight changes.

"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," Nealon said.

Nealon also apologized to Southwest customers who've been impacted by the airline's handling of the grounding of the Max 8.

"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," he said.

RELATED: American Airlines extends Max-caused cancellations to June 5

Southwest said its proactively notifying the "limited number" of customers who've already booked travel that's affected by the schedule change. The airline said that the adjusted schedule is already in effect on its website.

American Airlines said earlier this week that it was extending its 737 Max cancellations through June 5.

Boeing's CEO said Friday that crews have made 96 flights to test a software update for the grounded aircraft and plan to make more in the coming weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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