• Joe Breitfeller

Southwest Airlines Expands CFM LEAP-1B Powered Fleet With New Boeing 737 MAX Order

Southwest Airlines has placed a major order for CFM International’s LEAP-1B engines to power 100 Boeing 737-7 MAX aircraft. As previously reported, Southwest has ordered an additional 100 Boeing 737-7 and 737-8 aircraft, with options for 155 more.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7 MAX Powered by CFM LEAP-1B Engines - Courtesy Boeing

On Monday (March 29, 2021), CFM International announced that Southwest Airlines has ordered LEAP-1B engines to power 100 Boeing 737-7 MAX aircraft. As previously reported, the carrier has ordered an additional 100 MAX 7 aircraft, plus an option for an additional 155 MAX Family aircraft. The new MAX 7s powered by CFM LEAP-1B engines, will provide a 14 percent decrease in fuel burn, lower emissions and a reduced noise footprint. Southwest originally ordered the LEAP-1B in the 737 MAX in 2011, with a firm order for 150 aircraft. Delivery of the CFM LEAP-1B-powered aircraft are scheduled to begin in 2022.

Speaking on the new MAX and CFM LEAB-1B engine orders, Southwest Airlines’ Chief Operating Officer, Mike Van de Ven, said,

“The MAX aircraft, with CFM International’s LEAP-1B engines, enables exceptional operational efficiencies such as a 14 percent lower rate of fuel burn that reduces carbon emissions, quieter engines, which benefit the communities we serve, and excellent dispatch reliability to support our on-time operations. In addition to supporting our efforts to operate sustainably and efficiently, the 737 MAX offers Employees and Customers travel comforts such as a quieter cabin, larger overhead bin spaces, seating with adjustable headrests, and more galley space for onboard service.”

Also commenting in today’s announcement, CFM International’s CEO, Gaël Méheust, said,

“We are excited to take yet another monumental step forward in our long-standing partnership with Southwest Airlines. Furthermore, this agreement shows the trust this airline has in our products, and it clearly demonstrates the collective confidence we continue to share in the Boeing MAX aircraft and its bright future ahead.”

Further commenting on the engine order, GE Aviation’s VP – Global Sales and Marketing, added,

“We are deeply honored that Southwest Airlines has again placed its trust in CFM. It has been exciting to watch the evolution of their 737 fleet and we believe the new MAX aircraft expansion has a very bright future. We are proud to be such a big part of the Southwest team.”

Southwest Airlines has played a pivotal role in CFM’s history by launching the CFM56-3 engine in 1984 as the carrier’s sole powerplant for the Boeing 737 Classic. Southwest also launched the CFM56-7B as the sole powerplant for the 737NG in 1997. Currently, Southwest Airlines is CFM’s largest commercial customer, with over 700 CFM-powered aircraft. The CFM LEAP-1B engine entered service on the Boeing 737 MAX in 2017 and 460 aircraft have been delivered to around 50 global operators, logging 1.7 million engine flight hours.

Source: CFM International


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