Southwest unveils first 737 Max routes

Southwest Airlines has unveiled its first Boeing 737 Max routes, as it prepares to take delivery of the re-engined jet that it was launch customer of.

The Dallas-based carrier will operate the 737 Max from 1 October, with the inaugural revenue flight departing Dallas Love Field at 07:00 for Houston Hobby. It will then continue to San Antonio before returning to Dallas.

The flight routing is similar to Southwest’s first flight back on 18 June 1971 - except that the airline operated 737-200s then and had flown to Houston Intercontinental instead of Hobby.

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Southwest says it will launch nine 737 Max 8 aircraft into operations on 1 October, followed by the tenth about a week later.

It will end 2017 with 14 737 Max 8 aircraft in its fleet.

The carrier will retire its remaining 737-300s from service on 30 September, the day before the 737 Max enters operations. Southwest still has 86 737-300s in service, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

In April, Southwest announced it will accelerate the retirement of its 737 Classics, to avoid pilot training complexities when the 737 Max comes on board.

The low-cost giant has orders 200 737 Max aircraft, comprising 170 Max 8s and 30 Max 7s.

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