The Federal Aviation Administration’s ordered grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX aircrafts in the U.S won’t have much impact on Las Vegas.
The decision to halt the MAX flights comes after the collection of new data and evidence at the Ethiopian crash site of Flight 302, which killed all 157 people on board, was analyzed, coupled with newly refined satellite data available to the FAA, according to a statement released by the administration.
The impact at McCarran International Airport is expected to be light, as only 2 percent of the roughly 15,500 flights scheduled for March feature the MAX 8 jets, according to airport spokesman Chris Jones.
“It’s not a massive piece of the day-to-day, in-and-out at McCarran, but obviously we want everybody to be safe and we want the situation to be resolved,” he said Tuesday.
Three North American carriers serving McCarran operate MAX planes: Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and WestJet, according to Christine Crews, McCarran spokeswoman.
Three McCarran flights involved the MAX 8 jets Wednesday, all departing flights, with the last one taking off for Chicago at 11:23 a.m., according to flight tracking website Flight Aware. No MAX 9 flights operated in or out of McCarran Wednesday, according to Flight Aware.
None of the MAX jets were at McCarran following the FAA grounding orders, Crews said.
Any changes to the flight schedules associated with those planes is at the discretion of the individual airlines.
“They may choose to cancel flights, they might be able to switch out equipment and continue as scheduled,” Crews said.
Southwest plans to operate its flight schedule with every available aircraft in its fleet other than the MAX. Southwest is offering flexible rebooking policies, allowing customers to rebook on alternate flights without any additional fees or fare differences within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city pairs.
United said in a statement about 40 flights feature the MAX 9 plane a day, and through a combination of spare aircraft and rebooking customers, they do not anticipate a significant operational impact.
WestJet was rebooking customers slated for MAX 8 jets onto other flights, according to its website.
The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation of the crash in Ethiopia, which will include examining the flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders, The FAA said.
A separate crash involving a MAX 8 jet occurred in Indonesia in October, killing all 189 people on board.
Canada also ordered the grounding of the MAX planes Wednesday.