United Airlines expects to cancel more than 8,000 flights through October because of the grounding of its Boeing 737 Max planes. The airliner has a fleet that includes 14 of these Boeing jets, which were grounded following two deadly crashes involving the 737 Max model.
Lindblad will be replaced by Mark Jenks, a vice president overseeing possible development of a new mid-size plane.
Jenks was previously involved in turning around the 787 Dreamliner programme.
Federal investigators are scrutinizing Boeing's Federal Aviation Administration certification and marketing of 737 Max planes, sources briefed on the matter have told CNN.
Boeing Co.is working to fix flight control software that appeared to play a role in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, according to preliminary accident reports.
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The Max is critical to Boeing's future; the company has a backlog of about 4,500 orders from around the world.
Lindblad, 57, "shared with me his desire to retire past year, and we will now begin to embark on a thoughtful and seamless transition plan", Kevin McAllister, who runs the planemaker's $60 billion commercial division said in a message to employees Thursday. He said during his time running the 737 program, Lindblad "has navigated some of the most hard challenges our company has ever faced".
Lindblad, a respected engineer who had also run the 777X wide-body program, has been with Boeing for about 34 years and had mentioned retiring last year, McAllister said.
The 737 MAX's return to service is touted to be October at earliest. The stock had gained 1.9 per cent to close at $359.