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Southwest Airlines Ending Flights to Newark

Southwest Airlines is flying away from Newark, NJ.

The carrier announced Thursday if would cancel service to the popular New York City-area airport as of Nov. 3. It plans to consolidate its New York operations to LaGuardia Airport instead.

At present, there are 20 daily flights out of Newark to 10 cities, including Denver and San Diego. However, officials said those flights, which started in 2011, weren’t profitable enough, while demand was stronger at the Queens-based terminal.

Southwest says it will offer “options and flexibility” for customers whose future travel plans are impacted by the shut down of operations at Newark.

The consolidation comes as the airline plans on a notably reduced fleet size for at least the next several months. Southwest has been affected by the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max airplanes more than several of its competitors, as it has 34 in its fleet (more than any other airline). And now the carrier says it doesn’t plan to fly those planes until next year. (And Boeing has yet to provide a timetable for when the 737 Max will be flying again.)

That’s going to reduce the airline’s capacity by 2%, whereas investors were hoping for a growth rate of 5%.

The 737 Max was grounded after the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 killed 346 people.. Boeing is facing multiple lawsuits over the troubles.

Southwest isn’t alone with its frustrations about the planes, either. American Airlines, also on Wednesday, said the grounding of the 737 Max would cut its profits by $400 million.

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