Southwest Airlines (WN, Dallas Love Field) expects a further reduction in the number of B737 MAX deliveries in 2024, from the previous already curtailed figure of 46 to about 20, all of which will be B737-8s, Reuters reported citing people familiar with the matter.

According to the media outlet, Southwest expects aircraft deliveries to come in at only about half of March’s estimates, following Boeing’s quality issues which have impacted its aircraft production rate, which was officially reported to be about 38 aircraft per month in January, although experts disputed that figure.

“We remain in close contact with Boeing as the manufacturer continues to refine its delivery schedule,” Southwest Airlines told ch-aviation. The carrier is set to release its 2024 first quarter financial results on April 25.

Boeing delivered 66 MAX between January and March 2024, according to its official data, with Southwest receiving a total of five in the year’s first quarter (two in January, two in February, and one in March).

Originally, Southwest planned to receive approximately 79 MAX in 2024 (all of the -8 variant since the B737-7 remains uncertified, and the carrier no longer expects to take any of its 307 MAX 7s until late 2025 or even 2026). However, the company expected Boeing would continue to experience supply chain problems, and so was not confident it would be able to meet 2023’s fourth quarter estimations and timelines.

Additionally, the US carrier expected to retire 49 aircraft in 2024, including forty-five B737-700s and four B737-800s.

Due to Boeing's current issues, other airlines have also reduced their MAX delivery expectations for 2024 and beyond. Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane International) recently reported that it would not take any planned MAX 8s and B737-10s deliveries this year and the next; Ryanair (FR, Dublin International) has been very vocal about the delays, stating it will be missing 17 aircraft for the peak Summer 2024 season; and United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) removed the MAX 10 from its internal fleet plan, resulting in 80 fewer aircraft in 2024 than previously expected.