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Boeing’s mess will probably interfere with your summer travel — these airlines are most impacted

Boeing's spillover of trouble in the skies may impact major airlines and summer travel plans.
Boeing's spillover of trouble in the skies may impact major airlines and summer travel plans.

Don’t expect air travel to soar at new heights this summer.

The ongoing drama with Boeing is poised to hamper travel in the upcoming months, experts warn, as airlines scramble to distance themselves from the embattled airplane maker.

Boeing is currently weathering a storm of negative press after a door plug blew off a January Alaska Airlines flight. In March, passengers on a United Airlines Boeing jet had to be evacuated after the flight went off its runway in Houston and 50 people were bloodied and hurt on a New Zealand-bound Boeing jet that plummeted into a frightening nosedive.

Many airlines are either backlogged trying to purchase new planes from competitors, such as Airbus, or waiting for Boeing’s new line of “high-quality airplanes that meet all regulatory requirements,” a spokesperson told MarketWatch.

“A lot of airlines touch Boeing products every day,” said travel expert Katy Nastro.

“When something affects Boeing, it’s likely to affect those carriers that are all Boeing or [that] have a fleet that’s significantly more Boeing versus Airbus.”

United Airlines is looking like Boeing’s drama will impact future flights in the coming months. REUTERS
United Airlines is looking like Boeing’s drama will impact future flights in the coming months. REUTERS

United Airlines, which has taken a near equal amount of flack as Boeing for recent in-flight mishaps, is putting a freeze on hiring pilots to acquire new planes from the direct Boeing rival.

“As you know, United has hundreds of new planes on order, and while we remain on a path to be the fastest-growing airline in the industry, we just won’t grow as fast as we thought we would in 2024 due to continued delays at Boeing,” according to a United Memo shared with the outlet.

Southwest Airlines also finds itself in a turbulent spot as it flies only Boeing 737 jets. The airline was initially anticipating its entire order of 79 new planes fulfilled, but only 46 are slated to arrive this year now.

Now, Southwest is going to axe 1% — still a few thousand flights — for the year.

Boeing’s issues are also having an impact on Southwest Airlines. AP
Boeing’s issues are also having an impact on Southwest Airlines. AP

Nastro says this will likely hit “oversaturated” routes to popular destinations like Orlando or Las Vegas in addition to more obscure airports.

Delta Airlines is also waiting on a new fleet of Boeing Max 10 jets, but CEO Ed Bastian recently told Bloomberg that the order could be delayed until 2027.

Alaska Airlines said in a statement that the flyer remains “committed to Boieng” at this time, despite having full flight capacity “in flux,” company documents from March show.

The Irish airline Ryanair has 400 of its 600 planes made by Boeing and has 210 brand new Max 8 planes on the way. Initially, 57 were expected for June but that number was slashed to 40.

Delta might also be the subject of some rough air travel thanks to Boeing. GC Images
Delta might also be the subject of some rough air travel thanks to Boeing. GC Images

Now, the airline is removing flights from ten routes from July to September while also hiking ticket prices by 10%, CEO Michael O’Leary said last month. That’s on top of a recent 17% cost raise from last year.

Another way to try and mitigate damage is by many airlines flying dated “workhorses” in the sky, according to Gunnar Olson, a flight-deal analyst.

“Most travelers will not notice how old the plane is,” he said. “The flying experience is pretty much the same.”