March 29, 2021 / Southwest Airlines (WN) announced earlier today a firm order for 100 Boeing 737 MAXs with options for 155 aircraft. Both the MAX-7 and MAX-8 versions are part of the order and the options. The value of the deal has not been communicated.
The new purchase agreement takes Southwest’s order book to 200 MAX 7s and 180 MAX 8s, with only 30 airplanes delivered so far, because of the almost 2-year grounding of the type. The Dallas-based carrier also has options for 270 more MAXs for either the two models, taking its commitment to more than 600 airplanes through 2031.
“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. “We are proud to continue our tradition of being the world’s largest operator of an all-Boeing fleet”.
Southwest’s order is for sure a boost for the MAX production and a sign of some much-needed confidence in the MAX program. The low-cost carrier had been rumoured to be considering the Airbus A220-300 as a fit for the 140-150 seat niche (the same of the Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737 MAX 7). Though many believed it was nothing but hot air, perhaps a bargaining chip to secure a world-beating deal on its new 737s. The fact that the value of the deal has not been revealed goes into this direction. (Photo Wikimedia Commons / John Crowley)