WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Southwest Airlines Co chief executive criticized Boeing Co sharply on Wednesday, questioning whether the manufacturer was trying to accelerate the 737 MAX's recommissioning schedule.
FILE PHOTO: Southwest Airlines grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft will be parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California, on March 26, 2019. REUTERS / Mike Blake / File Photo
Boeing's Best-Selling 737 After two fatal accidents in five months, killing 346 people, MAX has fallen by the wayside since March and has been harshly criticized by US lawmakers.
Jon Weaks, chairman of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA), said in a statement to the pilots on Wednesday that Reuters discussed: "Boeing is increasingly announcing that they may need to shut down their production line because they run out of production Space for the storage of the finished MAX aircraft. There is concern that this is simply another tactic to move up the (return to service) timeline.
This would force operators to resume payments for MAX aircraft and transfer some of the costs, logistics and responsibilities over storing and restoring the MAX for the revenue service to their respective operators. "
Boeing did not comment on it late Wednesday.
Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Brandy King said the airline was "confident that work on the re-commissioning of the MAX will be carried out and further instructions from Boeing and the FAA regarding the timing and next steps awaited."
On Monday, Reuters spokesman Boeing Gordon Johndroe told Reuters, "We expect the Max Airworthiness Policy to be certified and unfounded in mid-December." "The FAA and other regulators will ultimately decide to return to service."
Boeing has yet to conduct a software documentation review before a key certification test flight can be scheduled. [Federal Director of Aviation Administration] Steve Dickson said on Tuesday that the agency had "delegated" nothing to Boeing in its review and offered no unearthed schedule. He said that "this will be based solely on our assessment of the adequacy of Boeing's proposal for software updates and pilot training. "
On Friday, Southwest and American Airlines extended the termination of the Boeing 737 MAX to early March, just before the one-year anniversary of a crash by Ethiopian Airlines, which led to a worldwide foundation.
Last month, SWAPA sued Boeing for "purposely misleading the airline and pilots". The founding destroyed more than 30,000 flights from Southwest Airlines and caused the pilots a loss of over $ 100 million, the union said.
Reporting by David Shepardson; additional coverage by Tracy Rucinski in New York. Edited by Gerry Doyle