Southwest Airlines Mulls Using Tax Windfall to Order New Planes

(Bloomberg) -- Southwest Airlines Co. will consider using cash from a federal tax overhaul to buy new aircraft for expanding or refreshing its fleet.

“It puts us in a position to think about growing faster,” Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said before addressing an aviation-industry group in New York on Thursday. Legislation being hammered out in Congress could result in “hundreds of millions of dollars” for Southwest through a lower corporate tax rate.

“Even if we decided we don’t want to grow faster, it gives us an opportunity to begin to modernize our fleet,” he said.

The Dallas-based airline “absolutely” would consider placing an order for more of Boeing Co.’s 737 Max aircraft, he said. Kelly declined to discuss the size of a potential order. Southwest has said that it would end this year with 707 planes.

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