Southwest Airlines CEO Releases Statement After Boeing 737 MAX Planes Get Grounded

March 14, 2019Mar 14, 2019

The CEO for Southwest Airlines has just released a statement concerning the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX planes. The statement was made public and was also emailed to all customers of the airlines.

The press release comes just hours after news broke that the Boeing 737 MAX aircrafts were to be grounded for investigations. There have been two crashes in recent days involving the planes and some people are claiming the aircraft is actually to blame.

The CEO's full statement can be read below:

"Since Sunday, we have been continually working with the FAA, Boeing, and others within the U.S. government, regarding the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft type that was involved in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident on March 10. This afternoon, the FAA issued its order to ground the MAX, with our knowledge and support. We have removed the 34 MAX aircraft from service; they will remain out of service until the FAA rescinds this order. With more than 750 aircraft in our fleet, more than 95 percent of our aircraft are unaffected by this order.

Safety is our top priority. It always has been. It always must be. Our commitment to the Safety of our Employees and our Customers is unwavering and uncompromising. U.S. airlines operate within the most advanced, regulated aviation system in the world and nothing is more sacred to all of our Southwest Family Members than the trust our Customers place in our airline every day, on every flight. You have our commitment to minimize the disruptions to our Customers' travel plans, while adhering to the FAA's requirements and ensuring the Safety of our fleet.

Southwest® has a long history with the 737 and a stellar safety record. Our experience with the MAX, along with the other U.S. operators, has been phenomenal. We've operated over 40,000 flights covering almost 90,000 hours. There is a ton of data collected, which we continuously monitor. In all of our analysis since our first flight in 2017, or that by our U.S. counterparts or the FAA; nothing has presented any flight safety concerns. It is also important to add that all Pilots at Southwest are deeply experienced and highly trained, as are our Mechanics who are highly experienced and trained to safely maintain every airplane in our fleet.

I realize this disruption may inconvenience our Customers during this busy spring travel season, and we will do everything in our power to mitigate the impact to our operation. For that, I offer my sincere apologies. To support our Customers, we are offering flexible rebooking policies for any Customer booked on a canceled flight.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will provide frequent updates to you as this story develops. -Gary Kelly"

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