Southwest is renowned for its nimbleness and efficiency in part because of its use of a single type of aircraft — the Boeing 737 — which helps streamline operations. Other airlines utilize multiple aircraft in their fleets.
Chief Executive Officer Mike Van de Ven told analysts and investors on an earnings call Thursday that the airline was collecting its Boeing 737 Max jets at a single site in California to simplif upkeep. It could take more than a month to get the aircraft operational and back into operation once the FAA does give the go ahead, Van de Ven said.
The company still has 41 outstanding 737 Max orders on hold with Boeing.
The past two months have been described by some as the most disruptive period in the history of the company. The large number of cancellations from mid-February through March amount to roughly half of all cancellations the company saw in calendar year 2018.
Kelly disputed critics claims that first quarter troubles have harmed the Southwest brand saying Thursday, “There is no evidence of any weakness that is unique to Southwest in the first quarter.”
Kelly also dispelled a sale to Warren Buffet reportedly in the works.
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