United Airlines cancels plans to return Boeing 737 Max jets to service this year

United Airlines is the third and final U.S. airline to give up plans to return a grounded Boeing plane to service this year.

United said Friday it will keep its Boeing 737 Max jets out of its schedule until Jan. 6, about three weeks longer than previously planned.

Without the planes, United says it will cancel nearly 8,300 flights from October through early January.

American and Southwest already pushed the plane’s earliest return into January. Those are the only other U.S. airlines that operated the Max before it was grounded in March after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people.

By acting months in advance, the airlines are removing the risk that their schedules around Christmas and New Year’s could be scrambled by the absence of the Max.

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