DALLAS - American Airlines doesn't expect the Boeing 737 Max to return to service this year, taking the plane off its schedule until Jan. 16.

But this time the company won't have to cancel any flights as the 737 Max continues to wait to be cleared by the FAA to fly again. The Fort Worth-based airlines said flights scheduled to be flown on 737 Max planes will be switched to other 737 models.

In an interview last week, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said they built upcoming flight schedules with flexibility in the event that Boeing's 737 Max wouldn't be recertified in time for December flying.

"American Airlines anticipates that the impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX will lead to recertification of the aircraft later this year and resumption of commercial service in January 2020," the company said in a statement. "We are in continuous contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DOT)."

Boeing said it expects the plane back early in the fourth quarter, which started last week.

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Dallas-based Southwest Airlines announced back in July that it doesn't expect to have the Max jets back in service until Jan. 5 and that it would need a few weeks after it's certified by the FAA to ready to fly again.

The 737 Max has been grounded since March 13 after a faulty sensor and runaway software system was blamed in the crash of commercial airline flights in Indonesia and Ethiopia, killing 346 people and sparking a worldwide examination of the plane.

American Airlines had 24 of the jets when it was grounded, but expected to get another 16 through 2019, putting further strain on its fleet.

Southwest Airlines owns 34 of the 737 Max aircraft but expected to receive about 40 more in 2019.

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