Boeing’s decision to re-engine the 737NG instead of launching an all-new aircraft program may have been revealed last July when American Airlines (AA) announced a massive narrowbody fleet modernization program that will include the new variant, but the move to upgrade the 737 with CFM International Leap-1B engines was always first and foremost about one key Boeing customer: Southwest Airlines (SWA). Yes, completely losing AA to Airbus would have been a devastating blow. But losing ...

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