Dallas, Texas (ANN) – Southwest Airlines who operates out of Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport has always been an All-Boeing operator.
A story that was first broken by aviation expert write Jon Ostrower has stated that Southwest Airlines has sent representatives on a tour for consulting related to the Airbus A220 operators.
The airline’s choice to look at Airbus can not come at a worst time as Boeing is dealing with the fallout from its MAX aircraft that has been grounded for just over a month.
The Airbus A220 is a family of narrow body, twin engine, medium range jet airliners. They are marketed by Airbus but designed and built by Canadian manufacturer Bombarier Aerospace. The aircraft has two different variations that cost any where from $79.5 to $89.5 million. As of February 28, 2019 there are only 60 built.
Southwest Airlines operates the world’s largest Boeing 737 fleet. They have 754 Boeing 737s in service with an additional 276 on order. They are also the biggest MAX operator with 34 aircraft. This recent move has surprised the aviation industry as a while.
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly has stated his confidence in the Boeing 737 MAX last week and had no plans to replace their orders with other aircraft types.
Southwest’s relationship with Boeing has been strong, up until recently. They were also the airline that was selected to be the “launch customer” for the last two generators of the Boeing 737.
Southwest has cancelled all flight that were to involve the MAX 8 aircraft through August 5 per the latest announcement on the topic from the company. The airline also announced that the grounding of the MAX aircraft together with unrelated maintenance disruptions, the U.S. government shutdown and some severe weather and softer demand for leisure travel has cost the airline around $200 million in revenue They also disclosed they were spending more money on fuel in part of the MAX grounding. The MAX was designed to be more fuel-efficient than earlier versions of the 737 aircraft.