“Without the supply chain we would have nothing to assemble to make it so simple,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said at the annual meeting in April while discussing the company’s need to support suppliers.
Airlines and aircraft leasing companies have canceled orders for 299 of the 7337 Max since the Covid-19 epidemic turned aviation into a plume. Another 240 jets have changed their order status and Boeing no longer counts them as firm orders.
The company still has more than 3,800 firm orders for the 737 Max in its books. And a few airlines that have delayed deliveries of jets due to the number of aircraft have said they are optimistic they will take delivery of the Day37 Max soon.
“We still want to get Max back into service,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting earlier this month. “The highest plane is higher than this [older versions of the] 737 that we are currently operating. It burns less fuel. This is a great aircraft. And of course in this environment, we want to retire some of our old planes, avoid some expensive maintenance and replace them with new planes. “
Southwest originally planned to deliver the largest number of Boeing aircraft by 2021 and take 19 more deliveries from aircraft leasing companies. But so far all three of those planes have been grounded. Under an agreement with Boeing, more than 48 of those jets will now be delivered by the end of 2021, and orders for at least 59 will be suspended.