DENVER — Gary Kelly, chairman and chief executive of Southwest Airlines, has been asked different variations of the same question during the last few quarterly earnings calls.

The question centers around the grounding of the 737 Max made by Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and how long Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) will tolerate not growing and ceding market share to competitors.

Southwest has hundreds of 737 Max planes on order, and frustration is mounting at the Dallas-based carrier.

"We put our future in the hands of Boeing and the Max, and we're grounded," Kelly said in a CNBC interview recently.

The grounding has breathed life into speculation that's been circulating for years — is this the time for Southwest to buy another airline?

Read more at the Denver Business Journal.

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