Airlines continued to cancel flights across the country Thursday after the U.S. government grounded dozens of Boeing Max planes a day earlier.
At Miami International Airport, more than a dozen flights — most on American Airlines — were grounded, leading to cancellations and delays that rippled across the country. One GOL flight and one Cayman Airways flight also were grounded.
It’s not just Max flights that are being affected. Passengers booked on other aircraft also face disruption as American and other airlines scramble to move planes around.
“American has re-routed aircraft throughout our network to cover as much of the MAX schedule as we can,” said an airline spokesperson. “Some flights that were previously not scheduled as a MAX may be canceled as our team is focused on canceling flights that impact the smallest number of passengers.” Daily cancellations will continue for the foreseeable future as American compensates its previous schedule of 85 daily flights on Max 8 planes.
American’s Miami hub was home to 24 of the grounded Boeing Max planes. Many of those are now been shifted — sans passengers — to the airline’s maintenance facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to await possible repairs.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport faced far fewer disruptions Thursday. Greg Meyer, spokesperson for the airport, said it was a “seamless” day, with only two Southwest Airlines flights canceled due to the Max 8 groundings. Passengers on those flights, to Jacksonville and Denver, were accommodated on alternate flights using different airlines.
Meyer said the Fort Lauderdale airport wasn’t as severely impacted by the groundings as Miami because they had a much smaller inventory of the Boeing planes. There, only Southwest used the Max jets on a daily basis. Norwegian Airlines and United Airlines used the plane regularly, but only once or twice a week.
Meyer said the airport will be back to business as usual by Friday, because the airlines have reallocated all the grounded Boeing aircraft.
The last Max 8 plane, owned by WestJet Airlines, was ferried out to its maintenance base yesterday. “Overall, we had more flights delayed today due to weather,” Meyer said.