After months of ongoing flight cancellations related to the ongoing Boeing 737 Max crash after two fatal crashes, Southwest Airlines has announced it is withdrawing from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey .
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary C. Kelly announced the move during the company's second quarter earnings this week, citing financial results that were "below expectations" as a result of problems related to the grounded jets. The airline, which has more than 30 Max jets in its fleet, has also extended its adjustments to the Max flight plan through January 5, 2020.
A spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines said in an email statement that the airline will stop operations kl. Newark begins Sunday, November 3rd. The change will affect 125 employees in the southwest who are currently stationed in Newark, though the airline said these people will be offered other opportunities in the company.
"This was not an easy decision to make, but we need to optimize our planes and resources to meet customer demand in other markets," the spokesman said. "All Southwest employees at Newark are offered positions at New York's LaGuardia Airport or allowed to bid on other open positions anywhere in the Southwest network. We want to thank Newark and the surrounding community for welcoming us over the past eight years , and we look forward to serving our EWR customers through November with the same Southwest Hospitality they know and love. "
Asked by Gizmodo about Southwest Airlines planning to stop the service at other airports as well, the spokesperson said that the company's focus for the moment are "our [Newark] employees and our affected customers."
It is unclear when the Boeing 737 Max will be cleared for commercial flight, and uncertainty has continued to affect the schedules of major US carriers with jets in their fleet, including Southwest , United and American Airlines. The Federal Aviation Administration said in June that with regard to the ongoing review, "it follows a horror final process, not a prescribed timeline, to return the Boeing 737 Max to passenger service. "