How Boeing's latest crisis could affect your summer travel plans

The CEO of Boeing surprised lawmakers this week when he told them his company has not taken any new orders in two months.

The airplane maker is also struggling to fill current orders. 

That puts more pressure on Boeing and its customers, including Dallas-based Southwest Airlines.

Boeing has updated its production timeline, now targeting delivery of 42 planes per month by September instead of two.

Still, experts say the delivery delays could affect the summer travel schedule.

The announcement comes on the same week that Boeing's CEO was grilled by members of Congress over safety concerns.

Boeing is trying to ramp up production of its 737 fleet after supply chain shortages and ongoing and heightened regulation scrutiny delayed deliveries of its popular planes.

CEO Dave Calhoun testified before members of Congress on Tuesday.

"We've heard those concerns loud and clear. Our culture is far from perfect, but we are taking action, and we are making progress," he said.

Calhoun told the lawmakers Boeing has not had any new orders for its planes in the past two months.

Ron McCallum is an aviation attorney and pilot.

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"When you're an aircraft manufacturer, those typically come in blocks. For all we know, next month they're going to get a block of orders for 100 aircraft from a different airline or a different carrier," he said.

The increased scrutiny on Boeing came after a door plug blew out of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 jet in mid-air. No one was hurt.

Calhoun said Boeing is taking steps to be more proactive.

"Transparency is really important if Boeing wants to have a continued future," McCallum said.

This week, Boeing updated its supply schedule.

The company hopes to deliver 47 planes per month by March 2025 and 52 planes per month by September 2025. They've currently been delivering just two per month.

Southwest Airlines is hit especially hard by the delays because the carrier only operates Boeing aircraft.

In an earnings call last month, CEO Bob Jordan said it's getting less than one-fourth of its ordered jets from Boeing.


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On Monday, Elliott Investment Management bought an 11% stake in the company for $1.9 billion. In a letter to the company board, Elliott called on the airline to make leadership changes and replace CEO Bob Jordan and executive chairman Gary Kelly.

Travel expert Gabe Saglie says the delays could impact the summer travel season with some carriers forced to reduce certain routes.

"I think it's concerning certainly for anybody who flies. And in those Southwest loyalists, this is not news that they'd like to hear," he said.

A Southwest Airlines spokesperson told FOX 4 flight schedules are discussed every quarter. They expect to have more information about possible route changes after the next earnings call scheduled for July 25.