American Airlines cancels Max flights through mid-August

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane being built for Spain-based Air Europa rolls toward takeoff before a test flight Wednesday

US President Donald Trump lambasted the Boeing 737 MAX plane on Monday, saying it should be improved with unspecified new features and given a new name.

"We remain confident that the impending software updates, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing for the MAX, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon", American CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom wrote in a letter to employees Sunday, as reported by CNBC.

A few days later, he called for the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX planes in the USA despite Boeing and the FAA's earlier statements of confidence in the aircraft.

Mr. Trump added, "No product has suffered like this one". The first crash occurred through the Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, and the second happened via an Ethiopian Airlines Flight on March 10. "But again, what the hell do I know?" Reuters calls Trump an "aviation enthusiast" who from 1989 to 1992 owned an airline called Trump Shuttle.

Airlines are being forced to ground their planes longer than expected after Boeing and the FAA said the company needs more time to complete changes to a flight-control system suspected of playing a role in the crashes.

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Investigators are focusing on the plane's anti-stall software, the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Texas last week that the manufacturer is working closely with its airline customers in its effort to return the Max jets to flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been meeting with representatives from American Airlines Group Inc, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines Co over the next steps after more than 300 Boeing 737 MAXs were grounded worldwide.

"The FAA is preparing to make an announcement very shortly regarding the new information and physical evidence that we've received from the [Ethiopia crash site] and from other locations and through a couple of other complaints", Trump said.

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