Southwest Airlines CEO Says More Boeing 737 MAX Cancellations Are Likely
That development comes as Boeing continues to work on a software fix to the MAX’s flight controls, suspected of contributing to two fatal crashes of the new workhorse jet. Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration identified a second issue with the plane during simulator testing, and the agency is now requiring the manufacturer to address those concerns, too.
All that means the MAX is likely to remain grounded for longer than airlines originally expected. After the crashes, regulators around the world prohibited the aircraft from flying. That’s forced airlines with MAXes in their fleets to to scramble to fill gaps in their schedules as they continually push back their return-to-service plans.
According to the Reuters report, Southwest’s CEO Gary Kelly wrote in an internal memo that the ongoing work to address the plane’s issues is causing uncertainty for the airline.
“I’m sure this will cause us to have to take the MAX out of the schedule beyond Oct. 1,” he wrote, adding that the airline needed to find out “what other modifications we might need to make our plans for this year because it’s obviously extending well beyond what I had hoped.”
With 34 MAXes in its fleet, Southwest is the largest operator of Boeing 737s in the US. The carrier said last week that it expects to cancel about 150 flights a day while the planes remain grounded.
Featured photo by Mark Ralston/Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.