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Southwest Airlines to stop service to four airports amid problems with Boeing deliveries

The airline is looking at other parts of its operation for ways to cut spending, its CEO said.

Southwest Airlines announced Thursday that it would be pulling out of some airports and cutting costs, blaming some of the company’s financial woes on delays in getting Boeing aircraft.

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CEO Bob Jordan announced on the company’s latest earnings call that Southwest is closing operations at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, the Bellingham International Airport in Washington, the Cozumel International Airport in Mexico and the Syracuse Hancock International Airport in New York.

According to Jordan, “The recent news from Boeing regarding further aircraft delivery delays presents significant challenges for both 2024 and 2025.”

Southwest said it now expects to receive only 20 new Boeing planes this year. That number represents less than half the number it had been expecting as recently as March, The Wall Street Journal reported.

That delay will hamper Southwest’s growth this year, Jordan explained Thursday.

“We aren’t accepting that as our fate and are taking swift action against what we can control,” Jordan said during the call.

Jordan said the company would backtrack on part of its network expansion from a few years ago and rethink its one-of-a-kind seating setup and boarding method, the Journal reported.

Southwest is not the only carrier to announce problems with getting planes from Boeing. In early March, United Airlines announced it was temporarily pausing pilot hiring due to new aircraft certification and manufacturing delays at Boeing, Fox Business reported.

The delays in delivering Boeing planes stem from the Alaska Airlines incident on January 5 when a door plug blew off of a 737 Max 9 jet.

The Max 9 was grounded for three weeks after the incident and caused the delay in certification of two new models of the plane, the 737 Max 7 and 737 Max 10, until at least next year, CNN reported. Both of those models were set to be delivered later this year.

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