MIAMI – Texas-based Southwest Airlines (WN) has decided to exercise its option for Boeing 737 MAX 7, acquiring 34 of the type model.

With this addition, WN becomes the largest Boeing’s customer for the smaller type of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with an order book standing at 200 according to French Le Journal de l’Aviation. The first Boeing 737 MAX 7 is expected to be delivered sometimes in 2022.

According to Planespotters, WN is exploiting 68 MAX 8 types in lieu of two more, and large options on more than 250 aircraft. Additionally, the Boeing MAX 7 shows seven on the order, probably excluding the 34 options being exercised.

The aim of the airline is to replace its fleet of Boeing 737-700, presently standing at 669 aircraft.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 – N8750Q. Photo: Luke Ayers/Airways

Facing Stiff Competition

Southwest Airlines has thus decided to beef up its fleet on the basis of an uptrend in leisure travel.

The aircraft order also conveys a strong competing stand against the likes of Frontier Airlines (F9), Spirit Airlines (NK), as well as newcomers Breeze Airways (MX) and Avelo Airlines (XP) on secondary market routes once dominated by WN.

As published by Reuters, WN has reduced its daily cash burn, now down to US$1m from US$2m, but is still feeling the impact of a lack of demand for business travel, negatively impacting its revenue.

Featured image: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 7 N7204U. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways