Tuesday March 30th 2021
After flight ban for 737 MAX
Southwest wins billions for Boeing
Two crashes with hundreds of deaths bring Boeing’s volume model 737 MAX seriously into disrepute. A flight ban forces the machines worldwide on the ground. In the meantime, the model is not only allowed to fly again: A first large order has also been received – a signal for the industry.
The US airline Southwest Airlines is already looking ahead again despite the corona pandemic and has ordered one hundred 737 MAX machines from the manufacturer Boeing. “Vaccine distribution is accelerating, travelers are returning, encouraging hope for a full recovery in our industry,” said the airline. It secured a further 155 MAX machines with an option to buy. Boeing competitor Airbus goes away empty-handed.
The order for the 100 Boeing planes has a catalog value of 12.5 billion dollars (10.6 billion euros). It is the largest order since the flight ban on the 737 MAX was lifted in late 2020. The worldwide flight ban has been in effect since March 2019 after two crashes with several hundred deaths. The first 28 new MAX machines are to be delivered this year.
Change of manufacturer fails due to additional costs
Southwest boss Gary Kelly had criticized Boeing during the flight ban and indicated that the US airline could for the first time ever buy from the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Machines from another manufacturer would have increased maintenance and training costs, as Southwest explained.
The airline justified its order by stating that the MAX machines would use comparatively little fuel; the engines are also quieter and therefore less annoying for passengers. The MAX machines are built for shorter distances. Experts expect that the demand for flights to nearby holiday destinations will rise again faster than for international long-haul flights and flights for business travelers.