Yesterday, Southwest Airlines cancelled all 737MAX operations from its schedule out to the last day of March, making it the first airline to accept a year of groundings fro this crucial aircraft type.
Famous for only ever operating 737’s, it was the inspiration for RyanAir in Europe who followed suit.
At the same time repeated rumours – nine of which have been denied by Southwest, are that its looking for an efficient long range smaller aircraft: the A220 is said to be high on its shopping list.
This, should it come to pass and a lot of people seem to think it will, would be a major change and signal an aggressive move into flying longer thinner routes, usually reserved for the smaller carriers employed by the major airlines.
The acceptance that the 737MAX is out of action until the end of the first quarter of 2020 is also another major reality check. Boeing’a crisis is far from over yet.
As I type it’s also be announced American Airlines has extended their grounding until the end of March also.