The recent grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft forced American Airlines to cancel many of its flights, and this has affected flights scheduled for Antigua.
Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority told OBSERVER media that, “Two flights were cancelled when the Max was grounded because our two Miami flights utilize that aircraft.”
About a week ago American Airlines cancelled 90 flights daily through to April 24th.
The airline, which had been flying 24 of the Boeing planes, said the cancellations were being made in an effort to provide more certainty and avoid last minute flight disruptions.
Since the recall of the two flights, James said he has been in communication with American Airlines, which has been working assiduously; shifting planes around in their network and, so far, one flight has been restored.
“We have seen efforts on their behalf put people via Puerto Rico, via St. Kitts, wherever we have excess capacity to get them into Antigua and Barbuda so that people’s vacation can continue and the momentum that we are seeing for growth actually keeps going,” the Tourism CEO added.
According to the Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC), “the Boeing 737 Max was grounded by aviation authorities across the world, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), after two similar crashes in
recent months that have implicated a flight software system on the plane known as MCAS.”
The Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed on March 10th, killing all 157 aboard, and the Lion Air plane that went down in Indonesia on October 29th, killing all 189 passengers and crew, were both 737 Max jets.
CNBC also reported that American is awaiting information from the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation, National Transportation Safety Board, other regulatory authorities and Boeing that would permit the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet to resume flying.