The Southwest Airlines fleet in 2024 | Aviation

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Southwest Airlines (WN/SWA) was founded in 1967 by Herb Kelleher and Rollin King. Initially conceptualized to serve as an intrastate airline connecting major cities within Texas, the airline was officially established in 1971 with its first flights crisscrossing between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The business model of Southwest Airlines disrupted the traditional airline industry through its innovative strategies, such as using a point-to-point transit system rather than the traditional hub-and-spoke model, which enabled faster turnaround times and increased aircraft utilization. It also pioneered the now-common single fleet type approach, exclusively operating Boeing 737 aircraft. Known for its cost-effective operations, no-frills service, and a jovial corporate culture, Southwest consistently maintained profitability, a rare feat in the aviation industry.

Today, Southwest is one of the world’s largest airlines with a fleet comprising a whopping 816 aircraft, all of which are variants of the Boeing 737. The fleet is 11.7 years old on average. Let’s take a closer look at the fleet and identify the newest and oldest aircraft in service. 

Aircraft type Number in fleet
Boeing 737 MAX 8 228
Boeing 737-800 381
Boeing 737-700 207…


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