“Without the supply chain, there will be nothing to assemble, so it’s just as simple,” said Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun at the April annual meeting, discussing the need to support the company’s suppliers.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic that caused the collapse of air travel, airlines and aircraft leasing companies have canceled orders for 299 of the 737 Max. Another 240 of the jets have had their order status changed and Boeing no longer counts them as firm orders.
The company still has firm orders for over 3,800 of the 737 Max’s in its books. And some of the airlines that rejected jet delivery due to the number of planes they parked say they hope to receive the 737 Max soon.
“We still want to restore Max’s service,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting earlier this month. “The Max plane is above the [older versions of the] 737 that we are currently operating. Burn less fuel. It is an excellent airplane. And certainly in this environment, we would like to retire some of our older planes, avoid expensive maintenance and a replacement with new planes. “
Southwest originally planned to ship 107 737 Boeing Max jets between 2019 and 2021 and another 19 from aircraft leasing companies. But so far it has received only three of those planes due to grounding. Under an agreement with Boeing, it will now take delivery of no more than 48 of these jets by the end of 2021 and will postpone orders for at least 59 others.
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