Southwest Airlines announcement that it will keep Boeing 737 Max planes on the ground through most of the summer will affect hundreds of flights per day nationally.
McCarran International Airport’s busiest carrier extended the removal of the Max planes through at least Aug. 10, citing impending software enhancements and training requirements with the troubled aircraft, Southwest announced Thursday.
The revision will proactively remove roughly 371 weekday flights from Southwest’s schedule out of its total peak-day schedule of more than 4,000 daily flights.
The effect on McCarran is 20 daily flights out of Southwest’s more than 228 daily flights at the airport, according to Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz.
“The impact is spread across several markets so Las Vegas did not lose any nonstop service,” Mainz said.
Southwest has been pushing back the implementation of the Max plane since last year, as Boeing addresses issues with the aircraft. Max jets have been grounded since March following two fatal crashes that killed 346 people on board Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights over a five-month span between October 2018 and March of last year.
“We remain confident that, once certified by the FAA, the enhancements will support the safe operation of the Max,” Southwest said in a news release.
Removing the Max plane from scheduled service ahead of time reduces last-minute flight cancellations and unexpected disruptions to customers’ travel plans, the airline said.
Customers who already booked trips on affected flights will be notified of their re-accommodated travel according to Southwest’s accommodation procedures.
“We offer our apologies to our customers impacted by this change, and we thank them for their continued patience,” the release said.