Airlines To Cut Capacity Following 737 MAX Problems

Daniel Fowkes
16 Mar 2024
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
Major airlines within the United States are forecasting a significant impact from 737 MAX delays, which will lead to capacity cuts in 2024.

Airlines worldwide, especially in the United States, are warning of capacity cuts across the 2024 calendar year following 737 MAX issues.

Boeing has been in a downward spiral following a door blowout incident on an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX during the first week of 2024.

While the door blowout sparked headlines, the circumstances around the incident, further loose bolts and more being identified would throw the manufacturer into despair.

Leading airlines in the United States are now forecasting capacity cuts alongside further aircraft delivery delays as they battle with Boeing and other problems.

Southwest Forecasts Delays

Thanks to updated forecasting by Southwest, the leading U.S. budget carrier, the airline expects significantly fewer 737 MAX deliveries in 2024.

Due to these fewer deliveries, the airline will also be unable to offer the schedule it had hoped for at the beginning of the year.

While specific changes are yet to be specified and will come later, the airline says that passengers should expect capacity cuts. Despite this frustrating development, the airline will do everything possible to ensure customer impact is limited annually.

Southwest is expected to have 42% fewer MAX deliveries across the year. However, their CEO has publicly warned that this could rise further thanks to the ever-evolving situation.

United Delays

At United Airlines, the 737-10 is no longer part of the short—to medium-term fleet plan as the airline battles delays and looks elsewhere to cover capacity.

United didn’t expect the aircraft to arrive on time even before the most recent problems, and now its expectations of obtaining the type have dwindled to an all-time low.

The airline is looking to fill the gap with the Airbus A321neo, a new addition to the United Airlines fleet. The CEO confirmed discussions with Airbus about obtaining further units in the future.

However, if these aircraft cannot be purchased at an ideal price or delivery timelines don’t align with the airline’s requirements, it’ll look towards the 737-9.

Inconvenience For Airlines

Either way, these capacity cuts and potentially other aircraft purchases alongside more impact airlines in different ways.

Generally, these problems can be categorised as an inconvenience for airlines, whether on a customer, employee, or financial level. To cope, these airlines are slowing growth and slashing services.

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