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Southwest Airlines: Boeing 737 MAX will not fly until April 13, 2020

Christian Fernsby |
Southwest Airlines joined American Airlines in taking Boeing 737 Max out of its schedule through mid-April.

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The 737 Max has been grounded worldwide since mid-March after two fatal crashes in a span of five months killed 346 people. The Federal Aviation Administration said last week it doesn't expect to finish its review of the planes by the end of the year. The regulator also publicly admonished Boeing for saying the jets could be approved before January 1.

Southwest Tuesday said it will pull about 300 flights a day from its weekday schedule of about 4,000 flights through April 13 because of the flight ban.

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are major customers of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft are also taking a financial hit from the grounding of the aircraft and have sought compensation from Boeing for the damages.

Boeing on Monday announced its decision to temporarily suspend the production of its 737 Max jet in January after the grounded plane's certification was moved into the next year.

The company said the decision was driven by a number of factors, including the extension of certification into 2020, the uncertainty about the timing and conditions of return to service and global training approvals, and the importance of ensuring that it can prioritize the delivery of stored aircraft.

No layoffs or furlough are expected at this time. The affected employees will continue 737-related work, or be temporarily assigned to other teams in Puget Sound.

The aircraft were grounded by airlines worldwide in March this year following two deadly crashes within a short span of five months that killed a total of 346 people.

An Ethiopian Airlines aircraft crashed on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa in March, killing all 157 people on board. It was the 737 Max's second accident in five months after 189 people were killed on a Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October last year.

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