At a time when the aviation industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, there is some good news for Boeing. Reports suggest that Boeing is likely to get a fresh order from Southwest Airlines for the 737 MAX. People familiar with the development said that the deal would make sure that the most important customers of the airline stay an all-Boeing carrier. To be specific, Southwest Airlines is planning on over 100 firm orders. The airline will place an order for the 737 MAX 7, the smallest version of the 737 MAX. The development comes months after Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said that it is looking for options to replace its 143-seat 737-700 aircraft. Kelly said that he was looking between the Airbus A220 and the new 737 MAX 7.
The airline has a fleet of more than 470 smaller jets. Any decision by the airlines to opt for Airbus aircraft would have been dealt a huge blow to Boeing. It could have created a lot of trouble for the planemaker as it reported a record net loss of around USD 12 billion. Southwest currently has all 737 fleets and opting for the expensive proposition because it’s almost two years since the MAX was grounded. People who know the development of the deal said that Boeing has been able to almost finalize the deal.
They also say that it would be the first order by the airlines and many more will follow. This is because Southwest is looking to phase out all its older planes in the fleet. If finalized, the deal will bring back the focus to MAX and gain traction in the market. This also signals that airlines, which faced the toughest time in aviation history after the coronavirus pandemic struck last year, are now ready to buy. The airlines have been taking several steps to increase the footfall of passengers. They are trying to build confidence in passengers that air traveling is as safe as it used to be in the pre-pandemic era.