Southwest's Boeing 737 MAX to commence passenger service on Oct. 1

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) extended its legacy of aircraft innovation this week by taking delivery of the airline´s first Boeing 737 MAX 8, the company said.

Southwest is the first airline in the United States to receive the 737 MAX, and the carrier expects to take delivery of eight more MAX aircraft in the coming weeks with the intent to launch nine MAX aircraft into revenue service throughout its network on October 1.

Southwest´s 737 MAX 8 aircraft feature a single-class cabin configuration with 175 seats, offering 32″ pitch, further enhanced by the modern Boeing Sky Interior; an LED lighting sequence for each step of the Customers´ journey; and, brand new to Southwest, a music-infused Customer Experience onboard all MAX flights with playlists that will run during boarding and deplaning.

Southwest served as the world´s launch Customer for the 737 MAX 8 when it announced an order for the new jet in December 2011 and continues a legacy of being the launch Customer for Boeing 737 aircraft series. Southwest has been the world´s launch Customer for the Boeing 737-300, -500, -700, and MAX series of the world´s best-selling airplane. The airline expects to end 2017 with 14 MAX aircraft.

Southwest Airlines Co. operates a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation services in the United States and near-international markets. As of December 31, 2016, the company operated a total of 723 Boeing 737 aircraft; and served 101 destinations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as 8 near-international countries, including Mexico, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize, and Cuba. It also sells frequent flyer points and related services to business partners participating in the Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program, such as car rental agencies, hotels, restaurants, and retailers. In addition, the company operates, an Internet Website that enables customers to purchase and manage travel online; and, a business travel reservation Web page. Southwest Airlines Co. was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.