Southwest pulling out of Newark airport, groundings cited

NEWARK, N.J. — Southwest Airlines is pulling out of New Jersey's Newark airport at a time when the carrier has canceled dozens of flights around the country each day because of the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max.

It will cease operations at Newark Liberty International Airport and consolidate them at LaGuardia Airport in New York effective Nov. 3.

"All Southwest employees at Newark are being offered positions at New York's LaGuardia Airport or being allowed to bid for other open positions anywhere in the Southwest network," the airline said.

The airline employs approximately 125 workers at Newark.

Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said closing Newark is "a tactical decision forced by the Max groundings." He said Southwest needs its remaining planes elsewhere.

The plane has been grounded since March after two deadly crashes — and several airlines are scrambling to respond to having a portion of their fleets out of service. Southwest is among the most affected: In March, it had 34 Max jets — the most of any airline.

"We aren't backing off of New York City with this move, but we are accelerating our growth in California and Hawaii," Kelly said on a call with analysts.

Kelly said Southwest has grown more rapidly at LaGuardia than it expected when it began Newark service, partly because of its 2011 acquisition of AirTran. The airline is relatively small at both airports, so consolidating makes sense, and most of Southwest's New York-bound passengers prefer LaGuardia, he said.

The Newark operation produces weaker financial results than LaGuardia, he added.

Southwest began service at Newark in 2011. It offers up to 20 departures per day to 10 cities, including Denver and St. Louis.

Boeing is still working on fixing flight-control software that appeared to play a role in crashes that killed 346 people off the coast of Indonesia and in Ethiopia. In March, regulators grounded the Boeing 737 Max and the company suspended deliveries of new jets.

Related News

Rare Tyrannosaurus rex skull arrives at Seattle museum

Aug 19, 2016

Paleontologists with Seattle's Burke Museum have unearthed the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex that lived more than 66 million years ago, including a rare nearly complete 4-foot long skull

'Diddy' delays tour to recover from shoulder surgery

Aug 19, 2016

Sean "Diddy" Combs will be kicking off his tour later than expected after undergoing shoulder surgery

German conservatives back partial ban on face veils

Aug 19, 2016

Security officials from German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc are proposing a ban on wearing the burqa and other face-covering veils in schools, courts, while driving and in other situations

Life Ponds publishes travel and lifestyle on a daily basis. We believe that Life Ponds will help to solve your problems every time you face a challenge.

Contact us: sales@lifeponds.com