Airlines and countries around the world grounded the Boeing 737 Max jets or banned them from their airspace following the crashes. But operators of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX are facing a different problem: scarce planes and booming demand.
A preliminary report says the aircraft nosedived several times before it hit the ground despite pilots "repeatedly" following the procedures set out by Boeing.
American Airlines Group Inc said on Sunday it is extending Boeing Co 737 MAX cancellations through August 19, leading to about 115 daily canceled flights, or 1.5 percent of its daily summer flying schedule.
On Thursday, Southwest airlines announced the decision to extend its cancellation of Boeing 737 Max aircraft through August 5.
Southwest Airlines also removed the Max jet from its schedule through August 5, and United canceled Max flights through June 5, according to the report.
The grounding of Boeing Co's fuel-efficient, single-aisle workhorse after two fatal crashes is biting into US airlines' Northern Hemisphere spring and summer schedules, threatening to disarm them in their seasonal war for profits.
"We remain confident that the impending software updates, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing for the Max, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon", American said.
The timing of a prolonged grounding could not be worse for Northern Hemisphere carriers.
The move is to "provide confidence" to customers during the peak summer travel season, the airline said in a letter.
According to CNBC, the cancellations amount to about 115 flights per day, roughly 1.5 percent of the United States' total flying per day in the summer. The FAA have convened a meeting on April 12 with safety representatives of the three USA -based airlines that have the Boeing 737 MAX in their fleets, as well as the pilot unions for those airlines.
American cancelled 350 flights out of Dallas-Fort Worth on Saturday, but that had nothing to do with the MAX, said spokesman Ross Feinsten. "That is why if we have to extend cancellations based on aircraft availability we will do so as far in advance as possible". American Airlines still flies the Max 8 despite the crash of a similar aircraft in Ethiopika on March 10 that killed all onboard.
United is due to publish first-quarter results on April 16, followed by Southwest on April 25 and American on April 26.