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Southwest pulling out of Newark airport, 737 Max groundings cited

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NEWARK, N.J. -- Southwest Airlines is pulling out of New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport following extensive delays caused by the FAA's grounding of the Boeing 737 Max.

It will cease operations at Newark and consolidate them at LaGuardia Airport in New York effective Nov. 3.

"This was not an easy decision to make, but we must optimize our aircraft and resources to meet customer demand in other markets," the airline said in a statement Thursday.

The airline employs approximately 125 workers at Newark.

"All Southwest employees at Newark are being offered positions at New York's LaGuardia Airport or being allowed to bid for other open positions anywhere in the Southwest network," the airline said.

Southwest began service at Newark on Mar. 27, 2011. The airline has three gates at Newark and offers up to 20 departures per day to 10 cities, including Denver and St. Louis.

Boeing is still working on fixing flight-control software that appeared to play a role in crashes that killed 346 people off the coast of Indonesia and in Ethiopia. In March, regulators grounded the Boeing 737 Max and the company suspended deliveries of new jets.

Southwest has 34 of the jetliners.

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