Boeing announced that Southwest Airlines (LUV) ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, including 155 options, for a total of 255 potential new aircraft destined to the airline.
The Dallas Love Field (DAL)-based low-cost carrier ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and 155 options for the aircraft type on March 29, 2021. According to the announcement, the deal would take Southwest Airlines’ (LUV) total order book to more than 600 aircraft, including options.
In addition to the aircraft order, the airline will “also expand its use of Boeing’s digital solutions to support its 737 MAX fleet, including Airplane Health Management, Maintenance Performance Toolbox and digital navigation charting tools,” read the press release issued by the manufacturer.
“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,” commented Gary Kelly, chief executive of Southwest Airlines (LUV). “We are proud to continue our tradition of being the world’s largest operator of an all-Boeing fleet.”
All in all, following the newest order, Southwest Airlines (LUV) will have committed to purchase 200 Boeing 737 MAX-7 and 180 Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft with 36 already delivered, as of February 28, 2021.
The airline resumed flights with the type in early-March 2021, becoming the last US-based operator to restart operations with the 737 MAX following its ungrounding. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ungrounded the aircraft in November 2020, as the 737 MAX was banned from operating commercial flights since its second fatal accident in Ethiopia in March 2019.
Southwest Airlines (LUV) was also rumored to be looking into the Airbus A220 to replace its aging Boeing 737-700 NextGeneration (NG) fleet. Reports circulated that the airline looked into ordering up to 300 new aircraft, pitting the A220 and the 737 MAX-7. The order would have comprised 130 firm and 170 options.
Barring the US low-cost carrier, the only other airline that has the 737 MAX-7 on order is Canada-based WestJet Airlines, which has 22 aircraft of the type in its order book.