Southwest flights from O’Hare to dip this summer amid Boeing fallout

As the company waits for more planes from Boeing, Southwest Airlines is scaling back O’Hare International Airport flights by about 40% this summer.

“We are revising our summer schedule due to delays related to receiving new aircraft deliveries from Boeing,” Southwest spokesman Dan Landson said Wednesday.

“With our newly revised schedule from O’Hare, we will be offering up to 18 departures a day, down from up to 30 departures a day.”

Boeing is under Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB scrutiny after a door plug on a 737-9 MAX jetliner blew out Jan. 5 on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. The plane landed safely in Portland, Oregon.

An FAA audit found multiple quality control issues and the agency suspended production expansion of Boeing’s 737 MAX.

“Near term, yes, we are in a tough moment,” Boeing President Dave Calhoun told employees in a message Wednesday. “Lower deliveries can be difficult for our customers and for our financials. But safety and quality must and will come above all else.”

Southwest began offering service at O'Hare on Feb. 14, 2021, in addition to already offering flights from its longtime stronghold, Midway.

The airline currently flies from O’Hare to Austin, Baltimore, Cancun, Dallas, Denver, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix and Tampa.

At Midway, “there are no major changes,” Landson said.

Southwest offers up to 250 flights a day to 77 destinations at Midway.

Calhoun added, “we are using this period, as difficult as it is, to deliberately slow the system, stabilize the supply chain, fortify our factory operations and position Boeing to deliver with the predictability and quality our customers demand for the long term.”

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