Southwest to acquire more 737s in fleet plan shuffle

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Southwest Airlines is shuffling aircraft orders and options, announcing it will take 15 more Boeing 737 next generation jetliners into its fleet in the next 10 years, in addition to 30 737 Max aircraft.

The Dallas-based airline, which released details of its fleet plan today, says it entered a purchase agreement to acquire 10 pre-owned next generation 737-700 from Calgary, Canada-based WestJet.

Five of the aircraft will be delivered in 2014 and five in 2015, Southwest says.

Southwest also converted options for five next generation 737-800s into firm orders, for delivery in 2014.

The carrier has made a host of other changes to its roughly 700-aircraft fleet.

Earlier today it announced it converted firm orders for 30 737-700s to the 737 Max 7, making it the launch airline for the type.

Fifteen of the Max 7s will be delivered in 2019, 14 in 2020 and one in 2021, Southwest says.

The carrier's total number of Max orders now stands at 180, including orders for 150 of the larger Max 8 aircraft. The Max 8s are to be delivered between 2017 and 2024.

Southwest also announced it converted firm orders for five 737-700 to the 737-800, with delivery in 2014, bringing the airline's -800 fleet to 88 aircraft by the end of that year.

Additionally, Southwest converted options on 41 next-generation 737s into options for 737 Max aircraft, for delivery between 2025 and 2027.

Southwest now has options 191 737 Max, and says it has the ability to convert other orders for -700s and -800s to Max 7s and Max 8s, respectively.

The airline's fleet currently includes 500 737s of various models and 200 Boeing 717s operated by subsidiary AirTran Airways.