It’s not only the largest order for the jet since the grounding — it’s also among the largest orders for the plane since Southwest placed the first-ever order for the jet in December 2011.
Southwest had firm orders for 281 of the jets before Monday’s announcement, including the planes of which it has already taken delivery. Including all its options Southwest could take delivery of more than 600 of the jets by 2031.
“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 Southwest CEO Gary Kelly. “We are proud to continue our tradition of being the world’s largest operator of an all-Boeing fleet.”
“The Max is more reliable. It has a lower fuel burn. It’s quieter. It’s less expensive to maintain, and it’s our most comfortable aircraft from a customer perspective” Michael Van de Ven, chief operating officer of Southwest, told investors in January. “And it is a key component of our future.”