Southwest to pull out of Newark airport over Boeing 737 delays

Southwest to pull out of Newark airport over Boeing 737 delays
© Greg Nash

Southwest Airlines will no longer fly out of Newark Liberty International Airport over delays in Boeing returning the 737 Max jet to service. 

The airline said Thursday it will end flights out of the New Jersey airport starting Nov. 3, and will consolidate area flights to New York's LaGuardia Airport. 

Southwest said it was a financial decision, claiming that Boeing’s “extensive delays in returning the MAX to service” have led to “financial results at Newark” that are “below expectations.”

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CEO Gary Kelly, in the company statement, said the 737 Max grounding following two deadly crashes reduced operating income by an estimated $175 million in the second quarter alone. 

“Boeing reported last week a $4.9 billion after-tax charge for 'potential concessions and other considerations to customers for disruptions related to the 737 MAX grounding.' We have had preliminary discussions with Boeing regarding compensation for damages due to the MAX groundings,” Kelly said.

“We have not reached any conclusions regarding these matters, and no amounts from Boeing have been included in our second quarter results,” he said.

Southwest said its Newark employees will be offered opportunities to relocate to other airports in the system, including LaGuardia. 

The popular Boeing model was widely grounded worldwide after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed more than 300 people.