This deal comes after a multi-year fleet evaluation by Southwest; this latest order this now brings Southwest’s total orders for the MAX to more than 600 aircraft, split between the 737 MAX 7 and MAX 8 variants, to be delivered through 2031.
“We are proud to continue our tradition of being the world’s largest operator of an all-Boeing fleet. In addition to supporting our efforts to operate sustainably and efficiently, the 737 MAX offers Employees and Customers travel comforts such as a quieter cabin, larger overhead bin spaces, seating with adjustable headrests and more galley space for onboard service.”said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s chairman and CEO
The US carrier has been considering replacing their aging B737-700 fleet, with an average age of 16.6 years old, with a newer model for some time. Today’s order confirms the 737-7 as the replacement for the older aircraft, which can carry 140-150 seats. With this Southwest will remain with an all-Boeing fleet.
“Southwest Airlines has been operating the Boeing 737 series for nearly 50 years, and the aircraft has made significant contributions to our unparalleled success. Today’s commitment to the 737 MAX solidifies our continued appreciation for the aircraft, and confirms our plans to offer the Boeing 737 series of aircraft to our Employees and Customers for years to come.”said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s chairman and CEO
In total, Southwest’s order book now contains orders for 200 737-7s and 180 737-8s; more than 30 of which have already been delivered. In addition the airline will also have 270 options for either of the two models, taking the carrier’s direct-buy commitment to more than 600 airplanes; they are also planning additional 737 MAX jets through third-party lessors.
“We are deeply honoured by Southwest’s continuing trust in Boeing and the 737. Their fleet decision today brings more stability for our biggest commercial program, and will ensure that our entire 737 family will be building new airplanes for Southwest for years to come.”said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
As part of the agreement, Southwest will also expand their use of Boeing’s digital solutions to support their 737 MAX fleet, including Airplane Health Management, Maintenance Performance Toolbox and digital navigation charting tools. Boeing will also provide system software upgrades and new wireless communication-enabling equipment to support Southwest’s operations.