No plans to discount Boeing 737 Max flights

Hoping Southwest Airlines and other airlines are going to discount flights to woo travelers when the beleaguered Boeing 737 Max returns?

Don’t count on it – at least not when it comes to Southwest, executives said during the airline’s earnings conference call Thursday.

“At this point, there’s no notion of discounting Max flights,” Southwest President Tom Nealon told reporters. “That’s not in our consideration set at this point.”

Nealon acknowledged that Southwest’s research into whether travelers are willing to fly the Max again is a mixed bag. But he said the “vast majority” of travelers plan to fly it the same as they have in the past and that some travelers said they will fly it more frequently.

“The thought being, it’s actually going to be the safest plane out there with all the scrutiny,” he explained.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are parked on the tarmac at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California, after being grounded.

Nealon said the general public is “nowhere near as zeroed in on this topic” as those in the airline industry and media.

“I think we’re going to see the customers come back pretty nicely,” he said. “Some may take a little longer than others, maybe a month or two months, but they’re going to come back.”

Airlines aren’t allowed to talk specifics on future pricing, and the plane’s return to commercial service is still months away so travelers could certainly still see flight deals when the planes finally do return to service.

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