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Confirmed: Southwest to purchase 100 737 MAX jets in major win for Boeing

written by Hannah Dowling | March 30, 2021

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX, pictured at Las Vegas International (Tomás Del Coro/Wikicommons).

A triple-digit sale of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to US-based Southwest Airlines has now been confirmed, making it the largest MAX deal Boeing has secured since the global grounding order was lifted on the jet in November 2020.

The deal also includes options for an additional 155 MAX aircraft.

With the addition of these new orders, Southwest has said its order book with Boeing now sits at a total of 349 orders and 270 options for 737 MAX jets, with deliveries planned to span over the next 10 years.

The airline has reliably flown the original Boeing 737 for nearly five decades.

With a market price of around $100 million per jet, the multibillion-dollar deal is a huge win for Boeing, which has financially struggled with a war on two fronts against the global pandemic, as well as the recertification of its embattled workhorse, the 737 MAX.

Earlier this month, World of Aviation reported that Boeing was nearing a deal to sell dozens of MAX jets to its largest global Southwest Airlines.

In addition to being a huge financial win for Boeing, securing the deal with Southwest also solidifies and reinforces the allegiance between Boeing and its largest global customer.


Late last year, the airline touted it may break its all-Boeing tradition, and replace its older 737-700 aircraft with the Airbus A220, as opposed to the 737 MAX 7 – the smallest MAX variant.

Analysts have suggested that due to Southwest’s historical support for the 737 program, losing this deal to Airbus would have been a “major disaster” for a planemaker that’s already shrouded in controversy.

Boeing has seen a steady increase of orders on its beleaguered MAX jet since the FAA lifted its grounding order on the plane in November 2020, following a months-long process of safety checks and test flights.

European budget giant Ryanair was among the first to announce a major order with Boeing for 75 new MAX planes, in a deal worth over $9 billion, just weeks after US recertification.

By the end of December, Alaska Airlines announced it had come to an agreement with Boeing to drastically increase an order of 13 MAX jets to a total of 68 737-9 MAX aircraft, with options for an additional 52 planes in the future.

Meanwhile, just this month, United Airlines announced the order of 25 new Boeing 737 MAX jets, as well as its decision to move forward the delivery of 40 of its existing MAX orders to 2022, and five to 2023.


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