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Southwest to keep Boeing 737 MAX off its schedules at least through May

Southwest to keep Boeing 737 MAX off its schedules at least through May

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SEATTLE • Southwest Airlines Co. said on Friday it was pulling its Boeing Co 737 MAX jets from flight schedules through May, extending its earlier timeline from April 20, according to a company memorandum seen by Reuters.

"This will impact the lines in May, but, now that the decision has been made, we can construct our schedule without those flights well in advance in hopes to minimize the daily disruptions," the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and the company said in the joint memorandum.

Boeing's top-selling 737 MAX jetliner has been grounded in the wake of two deadly crashes involving that model in five months, one in Indonesia last October and another on March 10 in Ethiopia.  

Southwest is the dominant passenger airline serving St. Louis.

Before President Donald Trump ordered all 737 MAX planes grounded on March 13, Southwest was operating about five departures and five arrivals on its Monday to Friday daily schedule, to and from varying cities, using the planes.

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