When it comes to Boeing Co.’s 737 Max, things can always get worse. On Thursday, American Airlines Group Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. added to a chorus of order deferrals and cutbacks for the embattled jet, which has been grounded for more than 18 months following two fatal crashes.
American has deferred delivery of 18 Max jets that were meant to be delivered in 2021 and 2022 and will take them on a new timeline over 2023 and 2024. Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr said there would have to be a “substantial improvement in the demand environment” to justify taking the jets before then.
Southwest, the largest Max customer, said it, too, may restructure its order after already agreeing to take no more than 48 of the planes through December of next year.
Both the schedule of new deliveries and the pricing of Southwest’s order are on the table, CEO Gary Kelly said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “In this world that we’re living in, we’re talking to them about everything. I’m not happy that the Max has been delayed for now getting close to two years and we still don’t know when we’ll have it in service,” Kelly said. “We’re looking at the pricing in a whole new environment and obviously we need certainty around the Max, period.” (end of excerpt)
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