Boeing delivery delays cause Southwest to plan for reduced capacity

Southwest does not expect to receive any 737 Max aircraft in 2024.

Southwest Airlines plans to reduce capacity and reevaluate its 2024 financial outlook due to delivery delays from its supplier, Boeing.

Boeing, which had previously anticipated delivering 79 737 Max aircraft to Southwest, now expects to deliver only 46 737-8 planes, according to a Southwest regulatory filing. 


Driving the news: Southwest now assumes there will be no 737-7 aircraft deliveries and does not expect any 737-7 planes to be placed into service this year based on current certification status with the Federal Aviation Administration.

  • For the first quarter, Southwest predicts its operating revenue per available seat mile to be flat to up 2%, compared to the previous forecast of up 2.5% to 4.5%.
  • Southwest also expects economic fuel costs per gallon in a range of $2.95 to $3, higher than the previous estimate of $2.70 to $2.80.

Go deeper: Shares of Southwest plunged as a result of the announcement, with the airline’s stock down nearly 15%.

  • Boeing is currently facing multiple government investigations and increased scrutiny over its safety and manufacturing quality.
  • The Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into a blowout incident on an Alaska Airlines jet and Boeing’s failure to provide requested records.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating Boeing, and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has called for a “serious transformation” around safety and manufacturing quality at the company.
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