Boeing wins biggest 737 MAX order since safety-ban lift from Southwest

Boeing wins biggest 737 MAX order since safety-ban lift from Southwest
  • Clock-gray 19:15
  • calendar-gray 29 March 2021

U.S. planemaker Boeing Co said on Monday it sold 100 new 737 MAX-7 jets to long-time customer Southwest Airlines, in its biggest order win since the aircraft’s safety ban was lifted in the United States late last year, APA reports citing Reuters.

Shares of Boeing were up 3.5% in early trading on the news.

The order signals Southwest’s show of confidence in 737 MAX jets, ending speculation of a shift to jets made by Airbus SE by the U.S. budget carrier as it hopes for a recovery in the pandemic-hit aviation sector.

“This is a very solid boost for the (737 MAX) program, but since Boeing was the incumbent here they had a strong advantage,” said Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia.

“In fact, since Southwest is the world’s only large 737-only airline, it would have been a major disaster for Boeing if they had lost.”

 

Southwest, which has been flying older variants of the 737 planes for nearly 50 years, said its order book now has a total of 349 orders and 270 options for the 737 MAX jet for 2021 through 2031.

Southwest previously had 249 orders and 115 options for the 737 MAX aircraft for 2021 through 2026.

The COVID-19 outbreak compounded troubles for Boeing, forcing it to cut production after the nearly two-year grounding of the 737 MAX family, following fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019.

After a blowout 2020, Boeing has outperformed Airbus in order wins this year with its monthly orders, including cancellations, turning positive for the first time in February since November 2019.

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