Southwest Airlines Co. extended its legacy of aircraft innovation this week by taking delivery of the airline’s first Boeing 737 MAX 8. Southwest is the first airline in the United States to receive the 737 MAX, and the carrier expects to take delivery of eight more MAX aircraft in the coming weeks with the intent to launch nine MAX aircraft into revenue service throughout its network on October 1.
“After 46 years of unprecedented success, Southwest Airlines has a lot more to do and a lot more places to go. Today, we have the airplane to take us there,” said Chairman & CEO Gary Kelly. “The 737 MAX opens a new chapter of efficiency, reliability, and comfort to the Southwest fleet, and its increased range allows us to take our low fares even farther.”
Southwest’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft feature a single-class cabin configuration with 175 seats, offering 32″ pitch, further enhanced by the modern Boeing Sky Interior; an LED lighting sequence for each step of the Customers’ journey; and, brand new to Southwest, a music-infused Customer Experience onboard all MAX flights with playlists that will run during boarding and deplaning. Additionally, the 737 MAX is powered by CFM International’s all-new LEAP-1B engines, which are expected to reduce fuel consumption, emissions, and noise.
“As the launch Customer of the 737 MAX, we’ve been preparing for this moment since 2011,” said Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven. “I want to offer a special thanks to Boeing, CFM, and all of the Southwest Employees who worked together to deliver this game-changing aircraft to Southwest Airlines.”
Southwest served as the world’s launch Customer for the 737 MAX 8 when it announced an order for the new jet in December 2011 and continues a legacy of being the launch Customer for Boeing 737 aircraft series. Southwest has been the world’s launch Customer for the Boeing 737-300, -500, -700, and MAX series of the world’s best-selling airplane. The airline expects to end 2017 with 14 MAX aircraft.
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This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to (i) the Company’s fleet plans and expectations; (ii) the Company’s network plans, strategies, opportunities, and expectations; and (iii) the Company’s projected results of operations, including the Company’s expectations with respect to fuel efficiency. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) the impact of economic conditions, consumer behavior, fuel prices, actions of competitors (including without limitation pricing, scheduling, capacity, and network decisions and consolidation and alliance activities), governmental actions, and other factors beyond the Company’s control, on the Company’s business decisions, plans, and strategies; (ii) the Company’s dependence on third parties; (iii) the Company’s ability to timely and effectively implement, transition, and maintain the necessary information technology systems and infrastructure to support its operations and initiatives; and (iv) other factors, as described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2016.
In its 47th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 55,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest proudly operates a network of 101 destinations in the United States and nine additional countries with more than 4,000 departures a day during peak travel season. Service to Turks and Caicos is expected to begin Nov. 5, 2017. On Sept. 5, 2017, Southwest will cease service to Varadero and Santa Clara to concentrate its future Cuba service in Havana.
Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity. That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency®, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. The airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart. A new logo, aircraft livery, interior design featuring a new seat and Flight Attendant galley, Employee-designed uniforms, and an updated airport experience all showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees who connect Customers with what’s important in their lives.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as “The Southwest Effect,” a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets. With 44 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2016 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at SouthwestOneReport.com.