It’s nice to have a backup plan, and the Max 8 is filling that role for Southwest until delayed Max 7 orders arrive.
Southwest Airlines has exercised options for the delivery of 30 Boeing 737 MAX 7 planes next year, and converted 24 existing MAX 7 orders to MAX 8.
The move comes two days after Boeing said the first delivery of the 737 MAX 7 was delayed to 2024 as it tries to secure Federal Aviation Administration certification for the narrow-body jet.
Southwest’s decision to convert some MAX 7 orders to the MAX 8 model, which is already in operation, would buffer the impact of the delivery delays.
On Thursday, Southwest Airlines issued disappointing forecasts for the current quarter and full year after missing estimates for second-quarter results, fueling concerns about the strength of domestic travel demand in the United States.
Southwest Airlines has plans to fly the MAX 7 “at some point next year”, but if not, it would take MAX 8 orders instead, CEO Robert Jordan said on a post-earnings call on Thursday.
(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)