Unsurprisingly, Southwest Airlines will continue to be a Boeing-only airline for years to come.
Southwestern large Boeing 737 MAX 7 order
It is widely reported that Southwest Airlines completes plans to place a huge Boeing 737 MAX order. In particular, the airline is planning more than 100 firm orders for the 737 MAX 7, the smallest version of the 737 MAX.
For a relationship with the Southwest Airlines fleet:
- Southwest operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 737s with over 730 aircraft in its fleet
- Southwest currently has ~ 475 Boeing 737-700s, 207 Boeing 737-800s, and 55 Boeing 737 MAX 8s; The Boeing 737 MAX 7 seats 150 people, while the Boeing 737 MAX 8 seats 175 people
- Southwest has already ordered 310 Boeing 737 MAXs, including 280 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 30 Boeing 737 MAX 7; These numbers include the 55 Boeing 737 MAX 8s that the airline has already received
As you can see, by this point Southwest has made plans to more than replace its existing 737-800 fleet (with 737 MAX 8s) while it hasn’t made enough plans to expand its existing 737-700 fleet (since only 30) to replace 737 MAX 7s were ordered). This upcoming order is intended to counteract this.
Southwest ordered hundreds of 737 MAXs
Is this 737 MAX order any surprise?
We knew Southwest Airlines was reportedly considering both the Airbus A220 and Boeing 737 MAX 7 to replace their 737-700. While it was theoretically possible that Southwest could have picked the A220, I don’t find this update surprising at all:
- With the Boeing 737 MAX just back in service and Boeing desperate to sell aircraft, I’m sure Southwest is getting an incredible deal
- There’s something to be said for the common Southwest fleet type in terms of crew training, maintenance, and more. On the other hand, the other side of this coin is that if something is wrong with this plane, you will be in big trouble
I think this is absolutely what most of us expected given Southwest’s desire for consistency and overall history with Boeing. As a passenger, I find this disappointing, as the A220 is more comfortable as a passenger than the 737 MAX.
It looks like Southwest isn’t getting an A220
While there hasn’t been an official announcement yet, it appears to be more or less settled that Southwest will place a significant order for Boeing 737 MAX 7 in the near future. The airline had chosen between the 737 MAX 7 and the A220-300 and, unsurprisingly, stayed with Boeing.
What do you think of this update to Southwest’s fleet plans?