United Airlines pulls Boeing 737 MAX jets until early June

CHICAGO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - United Airlines Holdings Inc said on Friday it is extending cancellations of Boeing 737 MAX flights from early March until June 4, the longest that any U.S. carrier is scheduling without the grounded aircraft.

The decision follows indications from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration that it still has nearly a dozen steps to complete before approving the jets for flight after a mid-March global safety ban in the wake of two fatal crashes.

Boeing said last week that it was freezing 737 production as the fallout from the two crashes, one in Indonesia and another in Ethiopia that killed a total 346 people, drags on.

Without the 737 MAX, United said it is cancelling about 56 flights a day in January and February, which tend to be slower travel months, with daily cancellations rising to 80 in March and April and 108 in May and the early part of June.

Southwest Airlines Co and American Airlines Group Inc, the other two U.S. carriers that had 737 MAX jets in their fleets at the time of the grounding, are scheduling without the aircraft until early April. (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)