Southwest grounds 737 Max 8 planes until August

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SAN DIEGO — Southwest Airlines announced plans Thursday to suspend 737 Max 8 operations through August 5 after previously suspending the planes through June 5.

U.S. officials grounded the aircrafts as of March 13 following two deadly crashes within the last five months.

Southwest has 34 of the Max aircraft in its fleet, more than any other airline. Since the grounding, the airline has had to cancel about 3,500 flights.

Southwest does have more than 750 planes total, so while adjustments will happen, the Max 8s represent a small percentage of the fleet.

Southwest said Thursday it would begin notifying passengers of any changes who already booked summer travel.

Most passengers seem to be OK with taking the planes out of rotation and a lot of people say the situation has caused them to actually start checking what plane they’re about to board.

“I will be checking even when they are not grounded. I don’t want to fly on that plane at least for a while,” said Jean Parcell.

Boeing has been working on a software fix for the max, but it’s still not clear when the planes will be cleared to fly again.

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