Southwest Airlines expects that the Boeing 737 MAX-7the smallest model in the MAX family, obtains the US Federal Aviation Administration certification (FAA) by April, which will allow commercial flights to be operated with this single-aisle aircraft from October or November 2024.
“For our internal planning, we assume that the aircraft will be certified in April and will fly for us in October-November“, declared to the agency Reuters Andrew Watterson, chief operating officer of the American airline. He clarified, however, that the April estimate includes a margin and that certification could still take place this year or in early 2024, as Boeing moves forward with the FAA in resolving outstanding certification issues. “We don’t want a delay to affect our plans, so we’ve built in some margin” in the calendar, explained Andrew Watterson.
For its part, Boeing said it expected certification of the MAX 7 by the end of the year. In October, company executives said the timeline remained unchanged, with Chief Executive Dave Calhoun saying the planemaker would give the FAA “all the flexibility she needs” to make your decision.
The 737 MAX-7 is expected to allow Southwest Airlines, the plane’s largest customer, to match capacity with demand, as U.S. passenger traffic tends to vary by time and day of the week. However, certification delays forced the airline to convert dozens of orders for the 150-seat MAX-7 single-aisle aircraft into orders for the 175-seat MAX-8.