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737 Max

Southwest Will Replace Many 737s With the 737 Max

Southwest Will Replace Many 737s With the 737 Max
Scott Dylan

Southwest is gearing up to retire 20 of its oldest 737 planes this year. In their place, Southwest has placed orders for a total of 30 Boeing 737 MAX 7 planes of tiny bathroom infamy. Seven of those planes will enter the fleet in 2019. The rest will arrive subsequently in waves.

Southwest likes this model because of its increased fuel efficiency, technological upgrades and its ability to handle between 20 and 30 more passengers than previous models. Southwest currently has 513 737-700 aircraft flying and, says Simple Flying, fully intends to replace them over the next 10-20 years with “more efficient aircraft.”

Southwest’s order of 30 new Boeing planes will be enough to keep routes going. However, the full delivery will take a while. That leaves Southwest in quite a pickle until the full delivery can be completed. In fact, the airline will be left with a shortfall of about 13 aircraft. The plan is to lease a total of nine MAX 8 aircraft to fill the gap. It has not yet been announced which routes will receive the leased aircraft or what the configurations inside those planes will be.

Southwest is pretty much alone when it comes to its affinity for the 737 MAX 7. The plane has failed to find favor among most of the major carriers in the world. The only other carrier that also seems to like the 737 MAX 7 at the moment is WestJet.

In fact, WestJet has actually placed an order for 23 of the aircraft. Which plane are other carriers going for instead? There are 2,500 orders out for the MAX 8 at the moment. That dwarfs the 61 that are out for the MAX 7 by quite a bit. This is a fact that is causing many in the industry to wonder if Boeing will continue to manufacture the MAX 7 once it has completed the orders it owes to Southwest and WestJet.

[Image Source: Wikimedia/Steve Lynes]

View Comments (7)


  1. edgewood49

    February 19, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Your forgetting Alaska Airlines other than Horizon Alaska is ALSO all 737/ All Boeing and has been for a long time. Fact Check

  2. pedrofs

    February 19, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    you must have not read the article; nothing was said about WN being all 737 and no-one else…
    BTW, AS is flying Airbus aircraft…
    Fact check…

  3. guam17

    February 20, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Alaska is no longer all Boeing since they bought Virgin America. Fact Check. Also, I believe the point of the article, although poorly written was that Southwest is buying the Max 7, whereas most other airlines are buying the 8 or 9?

  4. WebTraveler

    February 20, 2019 at 3:58 am

    Alaska is flying the 737 MAX 8. Southwest is going after the MAX 7., Like the article said, 2,500 orders for MAX 8 and 61 for MAX 7.

  5. bradleykhofmann

    February 20, 2019 at 5:04 am

    edgewood49, Alaska Airlines has 71 Airbus aircraft and 32 on order. They got them when they bought Virgin America.

  6. N1120A

    February 20, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    United has apparently converted a bunch of -700 orders to MAX 7s.

  7. milypan

    March 7, 2019 at 9:49 am

    It’ll never happen, but too bad WN doesn’t replace it’s 73Gs with A223s and upgauge some to a future A225. I don’t fly WN because there’s no premium seating (even just Y+ would be fine for domestic). But the A220 is so nice that I’d consider flying it in just plain Y.

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