Southwest Airlines has added a further 108 aircraft to its Boeing 737 Max 7 orderbook.

The low-cost carrier is the launch customer for the Max variant, and now has a total of 302 Max 7 aircraft on order.

The 737-7 took its first flight back in 2018, and had been expected to enter service in 2019.

But a series of delays including the grounding of all Max aircraft worldwide, and the subsequent Covid-19 pandemic, has led to this being pushed back several times, with a current expected launch date of 2024.

The 737-7 has the longest range of the Max family of aircraft at around 3,800 nautical miles, with Southwest set to configure the plane with 150 passengers in an all-economy layout.

Southwest is an all-Boeing carrier, and is gradually replacing its 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft with Max fleets – the airline already operates over 200 737-8 aircraft, and now has more than 500 Max aircraft on order across the 737-7 and 737-8 variants.

Last year Southwest unveiled plans to install new-generation USB A and USB C power ports and larger overhead bins on new deliveries of 737 Max aircraft, as part of an ongoing $2 billion investment to “transform the customer experience”.

Southwest to invest in faster wifi, in-seat power and larger overhead bins

Commenting on the news Bob Jordan, president and chief executive officer of Southwest Airlines, said:

“We have a long history with Boeing, dating back more than 50 years to the day we commenced service with three Boeing 737 aircraft serving three cities.

“They’re part of our history and part of our future as we continue to recognize the many efficiencies and cost savings of a single fleet.”,