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Fri, May 18, 2012

Southwest Defers Delivery Of 30 B737 Airliners

Move Expected To Save The Airline $1 Billion

At its shareholders meeting Wednesday, Southwest said that it would delay taking delivery of 30 Boeing 737-800 airliners it has on order with the planemaker. The move is expected to save the budget carrier more than $1 billion in capital spending.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that CEO Gary Kelly told investors that the company is "more conservative right now in our ambitions with respect to expansion." He said the primary short term goal is hitting the profit target, and that "We'll have plenty of aircraft in future years to be able to grow the airline."

20 of those 737s would have been delivered next year, with the additional 10 for 2014. Those airplanes will now join the Southwest fleet in 2017 and 2018.

Kelly also said that he's told employees they will have to be "diligent" in trimming spending and finding efficiencies in the business.

Boeing currently has 245 single-aisle 737s on its order book for Southwest, which was the first airline to sign up for the re-engined 737-MAX.

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.southwest.com

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