Southwest re-commits to its workhorse with 150 737 MAX order (Update1)

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For the fourth time in Boeing history, Southwest Airlines will be launch customer for a 737 variant, placing an order for 150 737 Max aircraft and an additional 58 Next Generation 737s.
The commitment valued at $19 billion, is the largest firm order in Boeing’s history in both volume and dollar value, besting November’s $18 billion Emirates 777-300ER order for 50 aircraft.
Southwest will take its first delivery, which looks to be a 737-8, starting in 2017.
Boeing yesterday established its list prices for the 737 Max family, ranging from $77.7 million for the 737-7, $95.2 million for the -8 and $101.7 million for the -9.
Southwest previously served as launch customer for the 737-300 in 1981, the 737-500 in 1987 and the 737-700 in 1993.
The order raises Boeing’s firm order and commitment total to more than 900 aircraft from 13 customers. 
UPDATE 3:23 PM ET: I’ve authored four articles exploring different aspects of the 737 Max launch order:
Southwest Airlines’ launch order for the 737 Max will guide the aircraft’s development, including which variant is built and tested first.
Citing fleet commonality and aircraft performance, Southwest Airlines selected the 737 Max over the A320neo, said the airline’s technical and operations leaders.
Southwest Airlines is embarking on a decade of fleet modernisation after its decision to become the launch customer for the Boeing 737 Max.
Boeing now holds firm orders and commitments for 948 737 Max aircraft from 13 customers, and expects that figure to climb to as high as 1,500 by the end of 2012, said the company’s top executive.
Photo Credit Boeing