Southwest Airlines (WN, Dallas Love Field) is currently working with the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) on ways to address possible adjustments to monthly working hours and payments and “any changes necessary as the schedule for aircraft deliveries fluctuates.”

Reuters news agency reported that the US carrier was planning to offer its pilots reduced hours and monthly pay as it copes with higher costs and overstaffing due to Boeing quality issues and delays.

Additionally, during a first-quarter investors' call, Southwest’s management revealed that it had stopped all hiring and would end the year with a workforce decrease of approximately 2,000 employees through attrition and voluntary programmes. The headcount reduction will continue in 2025.

Nonetheless, Southwest has yet to formally propose a voluntary time-off scheme to SWAPA and no agreement has been reached between the two parties, the company told ch-aviation in a statement. According to Reuters, if the plan is announced it will take effect around September 2024.

In the first quarter of 2024, Southwest spent USD2.94 billion on salaries, wages, and benefits, an 18.6% increase compared to the same period last year. Overall, it posted a USD231 million net loss for the quarter.

Similarly to other carriers with Boeing orders, Southwest Airlines has announced several reductions in the number of B737 MAX deliveries for 2024, going from 85 contractual deliveries at the start of the year to a conservatively planned twenty B737-8 deliveries. Furthermore, the airline has closed its operations at four airports and cut capacity at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson and Chicago O'Hare, with the company's president and chief executive, Bob Jordan, saying it has "a higher-than-normal portion of the network that is just not performing to the level that we need," and so tough decisions must be made to secure financial returns including working down the level of markets that are not performing.