According to Reuters, citing people familiar with the proposed deal, Boeing is nearing the end of the deadline for a large new order for 737 MAX from Southwest Airlines.
The order can be for dozens of planes, up to almost 100.
In October, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said that the airline was choosing the new 737 MAX 7 “Airbus A220” to replace its 143-seat 737-700 aircraft.
Southwest has about 470 of these smaller aircraft in its fleet, and any move to replace them with Airbus aircraft would be a huge blow to Boeing.
Were it not for the nearly two-year landing of the MAX, Southwest probably would not have thought of an expensive offer to add a new aircraft type to all of its current 737 fleets.
But Boeing is close to stopping that scenario as it works to break the deal. And this order will probably be only the first part, with further orders later, as Southwest removes all the old models in its fleet – 737-700.
If the deal goes through, the deal will be a big win for Boeing. This will help MAX regain its market attractiveness, signaling that well-funded airlines that want to overcome the epidemic are ready to buy.