Southwest CEO 'Not Highly Confident' in Timely Max Return

Business Travel News 10/25/2019

AAA World Article

Southwest Airlines' passenger revenue rose 0.7 percent year over year in the third quarter to $5.23 billion despite continued delays to the Boeing 737 Max's return to service. The Max grounding cost Southwest about $210 million in operating income during the quarter and has cost about $435 million this year, chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said. Like American Airlines, Southwest is in discussions with Boeing for compensation related to the damages, he said. This month, Southwest extended the removal of the Max from its schedule through Feb. 8. Kelly said he is "not highly confident" about Boeing's projections that the Max will be ungrounded by mid-December. He said the carrier is prepared to push back the reentry farther if that date does not pan out.

Even so, Kelly said the carrier's financial outlook "remains stable and solid." It continues to build its capacity to Hawaii and plans to build from Denver, Baltimore and the U.S. in 2020, he said.

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