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Carriers try to plan their flight networks as plane makers juggle supply-chain, other constraints

Airlines in need of more pilots and spare parts are increasingly facing another shortage: new jets.

Boeing Co. and Airbus SE are months behind handing over new single-aisle jets often used for U.S. domestic flights or other short-haul trips, constraining carriers’ ability to add flights to meet resurgent demand and plan their schedules, according to company executives and industry officials.

“It makes it really hard for our team to plan,” Southwest Airlines Co. Chairman Gary Kelly said at an aerospace industry event in Washington, D.C., last month.

A Boeing spokeswoman said the company continues to work closely with suppliers to meet its commitments to customers.

In addition to supply problems, Boeing is facing regulatory challenges for its latest two iterations of the 737 MAX. Both face uncertain futures if Boeing can’t win Federal Aviation Administration approval for them by the end of the year. Current federal law would require a cockpit overhaul if the planes aren’t approved in 2022.

Excerpt from WSJ
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