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United States Also Grounds All Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft

Southwest Boeing 737 MAX

On March 13, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all U.S.-registered Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, including the 8 and 9 variants, as a precautionary measure. 

The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today. This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA Wednesday morning, led to this decision.

The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft’s flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. An FAA team is in Ethiopia assisting the NTSB as parties to the investigation of the Flight 302 accident. The agency will continue to investigate.

US carriers including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines fly Max 8 planes.

American Airlines announced said, "We are complying with the FAA directive." The carrier grounds its 24 MAX 8 aircraft in the fleet. On average, American operates 85 flights per day on the MAX 8, out of 6,700 departures throughout the American Airlines system. The safety and security of our team members and our customers remains our top priority. We continue to have the utmost confidence in our fleet, which is flown by our highly-trained pilots and maintained by our highly-skilled maintenance team.

American regularly monitors aircraft performance and safety parameters across our entire fleet, including extensive flight data collection. This data, along with our analysis, gives us confidence in the safe operation of all of our aircraft, and contributes to American’s exemplary safety record. American has flown more than 2.5 million passengers — during 46,400 operating hours encompassing nearly 18,000 flights — safely on our MAX 8 fleet since the first one was delivered Sept. 2017 and began commercial service later that November.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause some of our customers. Our team will work with all customers impacted by these flight cancellations in order to rebook them to their final destination. Affected customers may rebook themselves on aa.com by retrieving their reservation or using our mobile app. If a flight is canceled, customers may request a full refund by visiting our website. Customers who booked through a travel agent are requested to contact their agency directly.

American is working in close coordination with our union partners, the Department of Transportation, FAA, National Transportation Safety Board and other regulatory authorities, as the safety of our team members and customers is always our number one priority.

Southwest Airlines also released a statement saying they have removed our 34 MAX 8 aircraft from scheduled service. Southwest operates a fleet of more than 750 Boeing 737s, and the 34 MAX 8 aircraft account for less than five percent of its daily flights.

"Our goal is to operate our schedule with every available aircraft in our fleet to meet our Customers' expectations during the busy spring travel season. Additionally, to support our Customers, Southwest is offering flexible rebooking policies. Any Customer booked on a cancelled MAX 8 flight can rebook on alternate flights without any additional fees or fare differences within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city pairs. A Travel Advisory with additional information for Customers will be posted on Southwest.com."

"During our 48-year history, Southwest has continuously demonstrated our commitment to Safety," said Gary Kelly, Southwest's Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. "We sincerely appreciate the trust our Customers and Employees place in our airline every day, and the Southwest Team is working diligently to minimize disruptions to our Customers' travel plans."





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