American Airlines to cancel 115 flights daily over 737 MAX

In a March 13, 2019 file photo, an American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 sits at a boarding gate at LaGuardia Airport in New York. (AP)
Updated 15 April 2019
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American Airlines to cancel 115 flights daily over 737 MAX

  • The global fleet of 737 MAX planes has been barred from flying since mid-March
  • Earlier this week, competitor Southwest Airlines said it would operate its 34 aircraft of the same model starting August 5

WASHINGTON: American Airlines announced Sunday it would scrap some 115 flights per day in the coming months because its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX planes is being grounded until August 19.
America’s leading airline had previously only planned to keep the planes out of commission until June 5, with Boeing facing intense scrutiny after 157 people died in an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash on March 10 — the second deadly crash involving the aircraft in five months.
The global fleet of 737 MAX planes has been barred from flying since mid-March.
“These 115 flights represent approximately 1.5 percent of American’s total flying each day this summer,” American Airlines chairman and CEO Doug Parker said in a statement.
But he stressed his confidence in the aircraft overall.
“Based upon our ongoing work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing, we are highly confident that the MAX will be recertified prior to this time (August 19),” he said.
“By extending our cancelations through the summer, we can plan more reliably for the peak travel season and provide confidence to our customers and team members when it comes to their travel plans.
“Once the MAX is recertified, we anticipate bringing our MAX aircraft back on line as spares to supplement our operation as needed during the summer.”
American Airlines had lowered one of its first quarter indicators in light of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes being grounded, along with the partial US government shutdown and technical challenges.
Earlier this week, competitor Southwest Airlines said it would operate its 34 aircraft of the same model starting August 5.


Unaoil’s former Iraq partner pleads guilty to bribery

Updated 46 min 8 sec ago
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Unaoil’s former Iraq partner pleads guilty to bribery

  • It is the first guilty plea to result from a three-year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into suspected bribery and money laundering
  • Unaoil is a Monaco-based oil and gas firm

LONDON: The former partner in Iraq for Unaoil, a Monaco-based oil and gas consultancy, has pleaded guilty to five counts of bribery in the first conviction in a three-year criminal investigation by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Basil Al Jarah, 70, pleaded guilty on July 15 to conspiring to give corrupt payments in connection with the award of contracts to supply and install single point moorings and oil pipelines in southern Iraq, the SFO said.
Al Jarah’s conviction, which comes six months before three other defendants in the case face a criminal trial in London, was announced after a judge lifted reporting restrictions in a pre-trial hearing on Friday, the SFO said.
Ziad Akle, Unaoil’s former territory manager for Iraq and Stephen Whiteley and Paul Bond, who worked for Dutch-based oil and gas services company SBM (Offshore), have pleaded not guilty.
Akle, 44, has been charged with three offenses of conspiracy to make corrupt payments. Bond, a 67-year-old former senior sales manager with SBM (Offshore), and Whiteley, a 64-year-old former vice president of SBM (Offshore) and one-time Unaoil general territories manager for Iraq, Kazakhstan and Angola, each face two counts.
Sam Healey, a lawyer at JMW Solicitors who is representing Whiteley, said his client “strenuously denied” all alleged offenses.
“Mr Whiteley co-operated fully with the SFO as they opened their enquiries and will rigorously defend the charges,” he said.
Lawyers for Al Jarah and Bond declined to comment. A lawyer for Akle was not immediately available for comment.
A spokeswoman for Unaoil declined to comment, while SBM Offshore has said it is company policy to not comment on past or current employees.