Southwest Airlines considering buying Airbus A220 aircraft.
Southwest Airlines, which has flown exclusively Boeng 737s for most of its history, said Thursday in a call to investors that it is looking for an alternative aircraft and that Airbus A220s could meet its needs.
The smaller Airbus aircraft can carry between 100 and 150 passengers, depending on configuration, and has a range of about 3,900 miles.
“If ever there was a scenario for us to consider making a change in aircraft type, it would be now because we are not desperate to grow the airline and may not be for long,” said Southwest President Gary Kelly.
“We have a lot of 737-700s that are going to retire in the next five or 10 years, and we want to replace them,” Kelly said.
“The A220 and the MAX 7 are both competitors in the market and both aircraft have their strengths and weaknesses, and we’ve been looking at both aircraft,” said the airline’s director of operations, Mike Van de Ven.
“We really don’t need to make those decisions until probably 2025 or beyond. So today, we’re really focused on the Max, on getting it back into service, making sure we have the right delivery program with Boeing,” said Van de Ven.
Southwest has long said that its unique fleet of 737s gives it a competitive advantage over other airlines.
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