UPDATE 2-U.S. government shutdown holds up FAA approval of aircraft, routes

(Reuters) – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval of aircraft such as Boeing’s (BA.N) MAX 8 and new routes like Southwest Airline Co’s (LUV.N) Hawaii launch are on hold due to the U.S. government shutdown, delaying commercial operations. On Monday, Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) said its plans to launch service to Hawaii early this year are on hold because the FAA groups that oversee the route authorization process are on furlough. In a statement, Southwest said it will not announce any timelines for selling or operating flights to Hawaii until it receives the necessary authorization. Meanwhile, no. 1 U.S. carrier American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O) said it has taken delivery of two new MAX 8, but the planes are sitting idle in Tulsa, Oklahoma awaiting FAA approvals required for commercial operation. American, with a fleet of around 950 aircraft, said it did not see any impact from the delay on its flight schedule or customers. United Airlines (UAL.O) and Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) are among other U.S. carriers awaiting FAA certification of new aircraft. The airlines did not reply to requests for details. A partial U.S. government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border entered its 24th day on Monday. Talks between Trump and congressional Democrats remained stalled even as some of his fellow Republicans called on the president to cut a deal, as tension mounted nationwide. Analysts said they did not expect a major impact on large airlines’ capacity as a result of FAA certification delays, but will be awaiting management comments about the effect of a prolonged shutdown on travel and operations during fourth-quarter conference calls. Delta reports fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, followed by United on Wednesday and American and Southwest next week.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: