Southwest Airlines cuts capacity, and rethinks 2024 financial forecast, citing Boeing problems

Southwest Airlines said Tuesday that it will have to trim its capacity plans and reevaluate its financial forecasts for the year because of aircraft delivery delays from Boeing, its sole supplier of airplanes.

The Dallas-based airline said Boeing informed Southwest’s leaders that it should expect 46 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes this year, down from 58. Southwest had expected Boeing to deliver 79 Max planes, including some of the smallest model, the Max 7, which hasn’t yet won certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Because of the delays, Southwest said in a filing that it is “reevaluating all prior full year 2024 guidance, including the expectation for capital spending.”

Southwest shares were down more than 5% in premarket trading. The airline said leisure bookings in the first quarter were weaker than expected and forecast unit revenue to be flat to up no more than 2% compared with a year earlier, down from a January estimate of a rise of as much as 4.5%.

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