Boeing announced today that Southwest Airlines has converted options into orders for 79 Next-Generation 737-700s. Airplanes covered by the converted options will be delivered between 2007 and 2012 in a deal worth approximately $4.5 billion at list prices.
Southwest, the first and one of the world's most successful low-cost carriers, operates an all-Boeing fleet of 452 737s. Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Alan Mulally thinks that is a very smart move:
"Southwest's continued choice of the 737 validates our shared view that passengers want affordable, comfortable nonstop service to where they want to go, when they want to go there. The 737 has contributed to Southwest's success through double-digit utilization rates, low fuel consumption, low maintenance costs and quick turnaround times."With SWA being bullish on their –37 orders, they seem to have full confidence in their low fare pricing structure continuing to be a market benchmark for years to come.
The deal also set a benchmark of sorts for the 737 family:
With this order, sales of Next-Generation 737 airplanes (-600, -700, -800, -900, -900ER) have eclipsed sales of the Classic 737 airplane family. The number of Next-Generation 737s sold totals 3,162, compared with 3,132 Classic 737s sold.Good news all the way around. That is – of course – unless your American, Delta or United. Will there come a day when all airlines are low fare? Yes. That day will come when we can fuel a jetliner with biodiesel made from a volatile combination of soybeans, okra and watermelon rinds that we grew somewhere out there in the square states.
Oh, sustainable fuels…that, my friends, is an entirely new post, coming soon.