July 18 (UPI) -- Southwest Airlines on Thursday joined a growing list of airlines extending their grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft through early November.
The Dallas-based company said it will keep the aircraft on the ground through Nov. 2. It previously expected to have the planes back in the air by Oct. 2.
"By proactively removing the Max from scheduled service, we can reduce last-minute flight cancellations and unexpected disruptions to our customers' travel plans," Southwest said.
The airline said it will notify customers whose already-scheduled flights will be affected by the extended grounding. The grounding will eliminate about 180 flights from Southwest's schedule each day.
Southwest and other airlines began grounding the Boeing model in the spring after two crashes linked to its Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System. Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed on March 10 and Indonesia's Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in October, collectively killing nearly 350 people.