Southwest Airlines removes Boeing 737 Max from schedule until April

Change will limit disruption of customers' travel plans

Southwest Airlines, the largest Boeing 737 Max operator in the world, is removing the grounded airplane from its schedule through April 13.

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The move, announced Tuesday, follows Boeing's decision to temporarily stop production of the airplane in January as a worldwide ban on commercial use lingers into 2020, following two crashes that killed 346 people. Southwest, which flies only 737s, had previously taken the Max out of its lineup through March 6 and is relying on older models of the aircraft.

The Dallas-based carrier said pre-emptively removing the Max from its schedule lets executives "reduce last-minute flight cancellations and unexpected disruptions to our customers' travel plans."

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LUVSOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.55.01-0.29-0.52%
BABOEING COMPANY324.15-7.85-2.36%

"The limited number of customers who have already booked their travel and will be affected by our amended schedule will be notified of their re-accommodated travel," Southwest said. "The revision will proactively remove roughly 300 weekday flights from our schedule out of our total peak-day schedule of more than 4,000 daily flights."

Regulators sidelined the 737 MAX in early 2019 until Boeing completed -- and governments signed off on -- patches to anti-stall software that investigators said can interfere with the aircraft's ascent during takeoff. The MAX is the latest and most fuel-efficient iteration of Boeing's widely-used single-aisle aircraft and had become the best-selling model in the planemaker's history.

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.