Southwest Airlines joins American in extending 737 Max cancellations through Labor Day

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A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California, U.S., March 26, 2019.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Southwest Airlines on Thursday joined its rival American in removing the still-grounded Boeing 737 Max from its schedule through the start of September the latest sign that the the disruptions from the controversial aircraft are hitting airlines harder than expected.

The low-cost carrier is scrubbing about 100 flights a day from its schedule because of the change it said. Southwest low-cost carrier is the largest U.S. operator of the Max with 34 of the planes in its fleet of about 750 Boeing 737 jets.

Aviation authorities grounded the jets in mid-March after two fatal crashes within five months of one another.

The Federal Aviation Administration and its international counterparts have not said when the planes might return to service, a headache for carriers left without the fuel efficient planes during the peak summer season.

Southwest in April had previously removed the jets from its schedule through Aug. 5.

“With the timing of the MAX’s return-to-service still uncertain, we are again revising our plans to remove the MAX from our schedule through Sept. 2,” the Dallas-based airline said in a statement.

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