A tenant since 2011, the Dallas-based airline claims that its 8-year venture at the United heavy hub just simply hasn’t been as profitable as the airline projected. And most recently, the grounding of the carrier’s 34 Boeing 737-MAX craft has been further delayed, leaving Southwest to remove it from the schedule until 2020. In a cost-cutting effort to consolidate operations, the low-cost carrier will repurpose aircraft to the more in-demand LaGuardia.
737 MAX Grounded Through 2019 as Airline Consolidates NYC Operations
In a statement released today regarding the company's second-quarter financials, CEO Gary C. Kelly announced that the airline is “taking necessary steps to mitigate damages and optimize our aircraft and resources.". And "Based on the extensive delays in returning the MAX to service" the airline will reduce its seat capacity through the rest of the year "compared with our original 2019 plan to grow capacity nearly 5 percent."
Following those projections, the carrier dropped the unexpected announcement that they “will cease operations at Newark Liberty International Airport and consolidate our New York City presence at New York LaGuardia Airport, effective November 3, 2019. The financial results at Newark have been below expectations, despite the efforts of our excellent Team at Newark.”
Customers booked on flights to Newark (EWR) beyond the November 3 cut-off will receive full refunds or the option to shift their travel to neighboring airports that offer Southwest service like New York (LGA), Islip (ISP), or Philadelphia (PHL), based on availability.
If you have travel planned to/from Newark on Southwest after November 3, reach out to the airline to revise your travel options. The sooner you do so, the better your odds of being re-accommodated to flights that better suit your needs.