United and American push back expected return of Boeing Max

FILE — In this Dec. 11, 2019, file photo, an United Airlines Boeing 737 Max airplane takes off in the rain at Renton Municipal Airport in Renton, Wash. United Airlines said Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, that it is removing the grounded Boeing 737 Max from its schedule until early September, forcing it to cancel thousands more flights.

CHICAGO — United Airlines and American Airlines said Friday they are removing the grounded Boeing 737 Max from their schedules longer than previously planned, which means thousands more flights will be canceled during the peak summer travel season.

The reduction in flights could mean slightly higher fares.

United said it took the plane out of its schedule until at least Sept. 4. It had 14 Max jets when they were grounded, but expected to be flying more of them by now. The Chicago-based airline said it will scrap 80 flights a day — about 2,500 a month — over the summer.

American followed a few hours later by saying it won’t use the plane until Aug. 18 — more than two months beyond its previous target of returning the plane in early June. American said it acted in response to the latest guidance from Boeing and safety regulators.