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Southwest takes delivery of first 737 Max

Southwest Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 Max 8, ahead of the type's first revenue flights on 1 October.

"We will continue our work to get the aircraft ready to enter the Southwest schedule on Oct 1. More delivery details will be available this week," says a Southwest spokesperson.

The 737 Max 8, registration N8710M, operated a 3h 19min flight from Boeing Field to Dallas Love Field, flight tracking website Flightradar24 shows.

The airline had initially planned an event on 30 August to celebrate the aircraft delivery, but cancelled it to focus its efforts on operations recovery after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas over the weekend.

Southwest will launch nine 737 Max 8s into service on 1 October, and add a tenth about a week later. It will end 2017 with 14 of the type. The airline, which is the world's biggest 737 operator, has orders for 200 737 Max aircraft, comprising 170 Max 8s and 30 Max 7s.

The Max is entering Southwest's fleet as it retires its remaining 737 Classics, which will fly for the airline up till 29 September. About 30 737 Classics will operate on that day, says the airline at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Las Vegas.

On 30 September, the airline will be an all-737NG airline, before deploying the Max 8s a day later.

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