16-May-2013 4:27 PM

Southwest Airlines formally launches Boeing 737 MAX 7, converts 30 737NG order to MAX 7 varient

Southwest Airlines formally launched (15-May-2013) the Boeing 737 MAX 7 aircraft powered by the LEAP-1B engine. This is the third member of the 737 MAX family. The airline converted an existing order for 30 737NGs to the MAX 7 variant. The LCC also exercised options to add five more Next-Generation 737-800s to its fleet. Southwest originally launched the LEAP-1B engine on the 737 MAX in 2011 with an order for 150 firm aircraft. This new order takes the airlines total firm fleet to 360 engines. The new aircraft are scheduled to begin delivery in 2019. Southwest also has options for 150 additional LEAP-1B-powered 737 MAX aircraft. The LEAP-1B engine achieved a major milestone in Apr-2013 when CFM concluded design freeze. Parts manufacturing for the LEAP-1B engine will then accelerate through year end, leading to build-up of the first engine in early 2014. The LEAP-1B is on schedule for CFM flight testing in 2015 and engine certification in 2016. The 737 MAX is scheduled to enter service in 2017. Southwest is CFM's largest commercial customer, operating a fleet of more than 600 CFM56-powered 737s. With the MAX 7 conversions and exercised options for 737-800s, Southwest’s unfilled orders consist of 180 737 MAX airplanes and 137 737NGs. The 737 MAX now has orders for 1315 aircraft. [more - original PR - CFM] [more - original PR - Boeing/Southwest]

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