Southwest Airlines orders 40 Boeing 737 MAXs worth $4.68 billion
Southwest Airlines converted options it held over the MAX 8 jets into firm orders, with 10 to be delivered each year from 2019 to 2022, the airline said in a statement.
"This is first and foremost an extension of our fleet modernization strategy," Southwest Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly told analysts on a post-earnings conference call.
"We have a very strong business case to replace older 737-700 aircraft given the superior operating economics of the MAX 8."
Southwest is the world's largest operator of 737 jets, with more than 700 of the airplanes.
The airline has now ordered nearly 300 Boeing MAX jets, the most of any customer, a Boeing spokesman said. The MAX series is more fuel efficient than previous models. ■