American confirms Jun-2020 return for Boeing 737 MAX, but overhang continues to plague Southwest, while non-operator Delta sees ‘some benefit’ from its grounding

The uncertain return of the Boeing 737 MAX is one of the biggest overhang in the global aviation industry during 2020, and no one airline has felt the brunt of the ongoing flux than the type’s largest customer, Southwest Airlines.

The airline says it “expects to gradually phase in the MAX for commercial service and will increase flying on the aircraft throughout the month of June”.

Like American, Southwest has had to pull back plans for a re-entry of the MAX into service multiple times as work continues by Boeing to ensure the MCAS software update meets regulatory requirements. Now the airline has pulled the MAX jets from service through mid Apr-2020, which results in the culling of 300 flights per day from a peak day schedule of more than 4,000 flights.

That number of aircraft could shift, depending on the exact timing of the MAX’s return to service. There’s also the obvious negative financial effects for Southwest and all the other operators of the MAX. Southwest has calculated that the MAX grounding has reduced its operating income by USD435 million through YTD2019, as of Nov-2019.

Collected and summarized from the source below by Minh Pham