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Simon Mugo

Why did Southwest Airlines freeze the hiring of new pilots?

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Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) today announced that the grounded Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) 737 Max plane would not return to service until 2nd November, which led to its decision to stop hiring new pilots in the meantime.

Southwest joins its industry peers American Airlines and United Airlines in removing the 737 Max from its flight schedule until early November as the plane remains grounded with no specific timeline as to when it is likely to fly again.

Today’s announcement reveals the financial hardships that the grounded 737 Max plane has caused many airlines that were using the plane for a significant portion of their short-haul flights as well as the airlines that were expecting more deliveries of the plane this year.

Many airlines are now being forced to plan for an uncertain future as they continue to cancel hundreds of flights on a daily basis, which is likely to affect their financial performance for the rest of the year, and maybe longer depending on when the 737 Max will be recertified.

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