The grounding of the Boeing 737 Max continues to impact Southwest Airlines, which has extended 737 Max-related cancellations through Jan. 5, 2020 and announced it will be pulling out of Newark Liberty International Airport this November.
The move is not what Southwest had planned for 2019: Earlier this year the airline had hoped to increase capacity by 5 percent. Instead, The Wall Street Journal reports that the airline’s capacity is expected to shrink by as much as 2 percent as it addresses capacity constraints caused by the grounding of the 737 Max.
Southwest’s decision to cut Newark is an effort to negate the impact of the 737 Max reductions, and a spokesman for the airline told WSJ that the airline has no plans to return, as operations haven’t been as profitable as hoped. Southwest had up to 20 departures a day out of the airport.
In tandem with their shift away from Newark, Southwest is focusing on their presence at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
Several airlines, including Southwest, are planning to seek compensation from Boeing for the fallout of the 737 Max. Boeing announced last week that they would set aside $4.9 billion for airlines that were forced to ground flights.
Thousands of flights have been cancelled and airlines who ordered Boeing’s new 737 Max planes are having to do without. American Airlines told the WSJ on Thursday that they expect their pretax earnings to be $400 million less this year due to the groundings.
The Boeing 737 Max aircraft has been grounded globally since March, after two fatal crashes.