Skip to content

Southwest Airlines Is Cutting Flights to 4 Airports Over Boeing Problems

The company just reported a major loss for its first quarter.

Air travel has felt a little more stressful than usual in recent months. Following periods of repeated delays caused by heightened demand and bad weather, we're now dealing with the fallout from concerns over potential safety issues with Boeing planes. In the latest development, Southwest Airlines has announced that it will be cutting flights to four different airports as a result of the ongoing controversy.

RELATED: Boeing Is "Putting Out Defective Airplanes," Whistleblower Says in New Testimony.

In conjunction with releasing the company's first-quarter financial results on April 25, Southwest revealed that it had made the "difficult decision to cease operations" at four different airports: Bellingham International Airport in Washington; Cozumel International Airport in Mexico; George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston; and Syracuse Hancock International Airport in New York.

The airline plans to drop service from these airports on Aug. 4 to try to counteract financial issues arising from "Boeing aircraft delivery delays, and the related reduction in second half 2024 capacity," according to the release.

"Achieving our financial goals is an immediate imperative. The recent news from Boeing regarding further aircraft delivery delays presents significant challenges for both 2024 and 2025," Southwest CEO Bob Jordan said in a statement. "We are reacting and replanning quickly to mitigate the operational and financial impacts … To improve our financial performance, we have intensified our network optimization efforts to address underperforming markets."

RELATED: Southwest Is Under FAA Investigation After 2 In-Flight Emergencies.

As The New York Times explains, Southwest Airlines only flies Boeing 737 planes. But after the Alaska Airlines' Boeing plane door plug blowout at the beginning of this year, the aviation company was forced to temporarily ground its Boeing 737 Max 9 jets and cut down its overall production amid increased safety scrutiny from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

As a result, Southwest said it is no longer likely to get as many new Boeing planes this year as it had expected. The airline had anticipated receiving 46 new jets, but is now only expecting to get 20.

It's not a great year for the airline so far: Southwest reported a loss of $231 million for the first quarter. In addition to cutting flights to four airports, the airline also announced it is planning to "significantly restructure other markets" to improve its financial standing.

A notable part of this restructuring will including "capacity reductions" at both Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport, according to the release.

"And, we are implementing cost control initiatives, including limiting hiring and offering voluntary time-off programs," Jordan said in his statement. "We now expect to end 2024 with approximately 2,000 fewer employees as compared with the end of 2023."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
Filed Under