CHICAGO (Reuters) – American Airlines Group Inc Chief Executive Doug Parker said it was “highly likely” that the grounded Boeing Co 737 MAX would be flying by mid-August following regulatory approval for a software fix.
On Sunday American extended cancellations of about 115 daily flights until Sept. 3 from Aug. 19, as regulators have yet to approve flight of the plane again following two deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia within five months.
Parker said the decision to extend cancellations merely reflected scheduling needs for pilots and flight attendants.
“No one should take that as an indication that we don’t think the aircraft will be ready by Aug 19,” Parker said during the company’s annual shareholders meeting.
“We wouldn’t be selling seats today if we didn’t think it was highly likely (…) that we’d be able to provide that service by Sept. 3,” he added.
The Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday it does not have a specific timetable on when the 737 MAX jet would return to service.
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Steve Orlofsky; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)