Southwest Grounds 737 MAX 8 Planes Through May
Southwest sent out a memo to pilots informing them that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 will be removed from the schedule through May. This decision was made to make scheduling easier and eliminate the risk of having last minute cancellations.
The grounding of the plane by the FAA has led to 2,800 flight cancellations for Southwest since March 13th. They believe that by removing the plane from the schedule they will have smoother operations over the next few months. They are dealing with this at the same time they have a maintenance issue with their fleet that they actually blame on a dispute with the mechanic’s labor union.
It is believed that the 737 MAX 8 may be allowed to fly again as early as this month. When it will actually happen remains to be seen but I think planning for the worst and hoping for the best is a good route to go. They can always add the planes into the schedule if they get cleared by the FAA earlier than expected. I think this move should lead to smoother operations. By doing this Southwest removes the risk of having to make scheduling changes on the fly if the 737 MAX 8 isn’t cleared this month.
If you would like to read some more about the Boeing 737 MAX situation I compiled a list of some of the more informative articles out there so far.
Hat Tip: Travel Pulse