Southwest Floats an Airbus Possibility
- Southwest came the closest yet to stating that it might buy something other than B737s. Not that it’s ready to place an order with Airbus tomorrow. But it does have a large fleet of B737-700s to replace and needs to start doing so as early as 2025. So sometime “within the next year or so,” it has to decide whether to buy B737 MAX 7s or similarly sized A220-300s.
It’s adamant about needing a 150-seat plane for many of its smaller markets — the many MAX 8s it has on order are simply too big for markets in say, intra-Texas like Houston-Midland. When will those MAX 8s return to service by the way? Not this year, as American is targeting. Southwest doesn’t see MAXs flying again until next year’s second quarter.
- Boeing is reviving talk about an all-new plane that would be larger than its largest narrowbodies but smaller than its smallest widebodies, The Wall Street Journal first reported. Put another way, a product for the segment in between the B737 MAX 10 and B787-8. The concept was actively discussed before the crisis though put on hold last year as Boeing’s new CEO navigated the MAX crisis and other woes. Boeing will perhaps have more to say on the new plane concept when it announces financial results this week. Make no mistake, a plane in the size range, with low fuel burn and good range, would attract a lot of shoppers.