Southwest Airlines, one of the largest airlines in the world, made a bold move. They are the first airline in the world to ground the Boeing 737 MAX until March, 2020– one year after the type was first grounded. Then, American Airlines followed suit.
Southwest grounds the Boeing 737 MAX until March
Reuters reports that Southwest Airlines is pulling the 737 MAX from schedules until March, 2020. Back in March, 2019, the 737 MAX faced a worldwide grounding after two entirely fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Since then, major scrutiny has revealed issues with the 737 MAX and diminished the credibility of both Boeing and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
March 2020 will mark one year from the start of the 737 MAX grounding. More importantly, this makes Southwest Airlines the first airline to remove the aircraft from schedules for a year. However, there is something to note about this. Although Southwest Airlines is pulling the type from service through then, it does not mean that regulatory agencies will not certify the type before then. Rather, this instead gives Southwest Airlines some breathing room to take the necessary measures for the safe return of the type to passenger service.