UPDATE: Southwest has confirmed that it has taken delivery of its first 737 MAX. The airline sent Airways the following statement:
“Southwest took delivery of the aircraft from Boeing, and we will continue our work to get the aircraft ready to enter the Southwest schedule on Oct. 1. More delivery details will be available this week.”
MIAMI — A Boeing 737 MAX destined for Southwest Airlines is flying from Seattle to Dallas today. The aircraft, N8710M, took off from Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington around 11 a.m. PDT. The aircraft is expected to land in Dallas around 4:15 p.m. CDT.
In a statement to Airways, a Southwest Airlines spokesperson said: “We are flying one of our 737 MAX aircraft to Dallas today for a brief visit. At the same time, the Southwest Team continues focusing on supporting our Customers and Employees impacted by Hurricane Harvey, and we will announce more 737 MAX delivery details later this week.”
With the closure of its Houston Hobby focus city in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, it is understandable that Southwest is staying quiet on the first delivery.
Last week, N8710M completed a customer flight out of Boeing Field with Southwest Airlines representatives onboard. As the aircraft flew with a Southwest Airlines flight number, it can be confirmed that the aircraft has been delivered.
Airways has learned that Southwest Airlines plans on taking delivery of up to three additional 737 MAX aircraft in the coming week.
Last year, a Boeing 737 MAX test aircraft visited Dallas Love Field for route proving runs.
Southwest plans to introduce the 737 MAX into service on October 1st. On its first day in revenue service, the 737 MAX will operate the following flights:
With the delivery of this aircraft, Southwest Airlines has 199 more 737 MAXs on order. Already, there are 14 additional 737 MAXs bound for Southwest that have either completed final assembly or are currently in final assembly in the Seattle area.
N8710M is the 10th 737 MAX built for Southwest Airlines. Four of the ten aircraft bound for Southwest are former 737 MAX 8 test aircraft. Currently, these aircraft are in storage awaiting engines. The rudders on these aircraft have been changes to Southwest Airlines colors.
Southwest will become the fourth 737 MAX operator behind the Lion Air Group, Norwegian Air, and FlyDubai.
Update: This article has been updated to include a statement from Southwest Airlines.
Cover Photo Courtesy: Brandon Farris