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Southwest Airlines agrees to buy 100 of Boeing’s smallest 737 Max planes

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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Chief Steve Dickson, sitting inside the flight deck of a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, conducts a pre-flight check ahead of an evaluation flight from Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, September 30, 2020.

Mike Siegel | Pool | via Reuters

Southwest Airlines on Monday said it agreed to buy 100 of Boeing‘s 737 Max 7 planes as it plans to retire older jets.

The Dallas-based low-cost airline said under the agreement it would convert 70 of its firm orders for Max 8 planes to the smallest jets, the Max 7s. It also added 155 options for 737 Max 7 or Max 8 airplanes through 2029.

“This cost-effective order book with Boeing allows the Company to maintain the operational efficiencies of an all-Boeing 737 fleet to support its low-cost, point-to-point route network,” Southwest said in a statement. The airline only operates Boeing 737 planes.

The Max 7 planes have a list price of $99.7 million apiece, but airlines usually get steep discounts for large orders — particularly in the market devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Boeing shares were up 2.5% in premarket trading, while Southwest was up 0.5%.

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