Southwest Airlines (WN, Dallas Love Field) has said in a quarterly results announcement that it will terminate all flights to and from New York Newark effective November 3, 2019. The airline will consolidate its New York presence at New York La Guardia.

"Newark, any student of Southwest will quickly understand our approach here and this is a tactical decision forced by the MAX groundings and the painful cut of 8% of our capacity," CEO Gary Kelly said during an investor call.

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, the LCC has a relatively limited presence at Newark with 98 weekly scheduled departures and a 2.6% market share by capacity. For comparison, Southwest Airlines operates 237 weekly departures from La Guardia, where it has an 8.5% market share by capacity.

Southwest Airlines first acquired Newark slots in 2010 as a result of the United Airlines/Continental Airlines merger, which forced the carriers to relinquish some of their slots. However, since then, the LCC has acquired La Guardia slots after its merger with AirTran Airways (FL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) and focuses on growing at this airport.

"New York is a huge market, but for us it is a destination market. Given our relatively small position at Newark and LaGuardia, and our inability to add any meaningful number of flights to these markets, it makes sense for us to consolidate our New York City flying into one airport," Kelly added.

He also said that the financial results of routes out of Newark were "below expectations". Southwest previously consolidated its operations at one airport in Chicago (at Chicago Midway), Houston (at Houston Hobby), and Dallas (at Dallas Love Field).

Southwest said it will use the aircraft currently deployed to Newark to accelerate its expansion in California and to Hawaii without having to wait for the resumption of B737 MAX deliveries.

On the fleet front, the carrier also said that it will delay the phase-out of seven B737-700s in order to cope with the lack of the B737 MAX.

"We now expect to retire eleven -700s this year versus the original retirement plan of eighteen," CFO Tammy Romo said.

Southwest Airlines has so far taken its thirty-four B737-8s out of the schedule through January 5, 2020. The LCC expected to take delivery of seven B737-7s and thirty-seven -8s in 2019, of which only three -8s were delivered prior to the grounding of the type in March.

The airline now hopes to have at least thirty operational B737 MAX aircraft on January 6, 2020, when it currently schedules the type's return to active service.

"We expect the majority of our forty-one contracted deliveries for the remainder of this year which by the way would have been in the Boeing storage grouping and will likely be moving into 2020," COO Mike Van de Ven said.