Southwest Airlines orders 40 Boeing 737 MAX 8 worth $4.68 billion at list prices

Southwest disclosed the info while announcing the results of its first quarter report. Its second quarter results are likely to be affected by the conclusions drawn by investors from the mid-air engine explosion of its 737-700 jet which occurred last week.

U.S. carrier Southwest Airlines stated it has ordered 40 Boeing Co 737 MAX 8 jets to help modernize its fleet. At list prices the deal is worth $4.68 billion.

Southwest Airlines delivered the news while announcing its first quarter earnings. It also mentioned that it had converted options that it held over the jets into firm orders, with 10 jets to be delivered each year from 2019-2022.

“This is first and foremost an extension of our fleet modernization strategy,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s CEO to 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.”

Incidentally, Southwest Airlines is the world’s biggest operator of Boeing’s 737 jets and owns more than 700 of them.

Southwest Airlines also warned that the consequences of the mid-air engine explosion on a 737-700 jet which occurred last week will weigh on its second-quarter results.

Investigators are probing the events that led to the first passenger death in the airline’s history.

Southwest posted first-quarter profit of $438 million, excluding special items, up from $372 million a year earlier.

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