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Southwest first to order Boeing's smallest 737 MAX

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Southwest Airlines on Wednesday became the first airline to order Boeing's new 737 MAX 7 airplane, the smallest model of the new fuel-efficient MAX family, the companies announced.

The Dallas, Texas-based carrier changed its existing order for 30 Boeing Next-Generation 737s to 30 737 MAX 7s, they said in a statement.

The first delivery is set for 2019.

The 737 MAX is a re-engined version of the single-aisle 737, the best-selling plane in aviation history.

"The 737 MAX 7 builds on the strengths of today's Next-Generation 737-700, incorporating the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines... expected to reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by an additional 12 percent over today's most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplane," said Gary Kelly, Southwest's chairman, president and chief executive.

The 737 MAX 7 will have a longer range than the current 737-700, by about 741 kilometers (460 miles).

Southwest is one of the largest US carriers with an all-Boeing fleet of 694 aircraft, most of them some version of the 737.

The companies also announced that Southwest had exercised options to add five more Next-Generation 737-800s to its fleet.

Including the latest actions, Southwest has unfilled orders for 180 737 MAX airplanes and 137 Next-Generation 737s.

Boeing said that it now has 1,315 orders for the 737 MAX family of aircraft -- the MAX 7 (126 seats), MAX 8 (162 seats) and MAX 9 (180 seats).

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130515/southwest-first-order-boeings-smallest-737-max