United Airlines 737 MAX

United Airlines reaches one hundred Boeing 737 MAX

In 12 months, the US airline has more than doubled its single-aisle jet fleet, but it still trails Southwest Airlines

Almost a year ago, Boeing had reached the milestone of 740 737 MAX jets delivered, after a long period in which the aircraft was banned from taking on commercial flights due to safety problems.

At the end of last quarter, the US manufacturer had already increased total deliveries to almost 1,100 planes, a sign that mistrust about the newest variant of the 737 was in the past.

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US airlines are leading the way in expanding the 737 MAX fleet around the world. Southwest, which is the largest operator of the model, already has 166 of them in service, an increase of 131% – there were 72 jets a year ago.

The second largest customer for the 737 MAX is United Airlines, which has just entered the three-figure mark. The carrier took delivery of the 100th aircraft, registration number N17301, days ago and has set an impressive pace of fleet renewal.

Southwest 737 MAX 8 (Andrew E. Cohen)

According to the company, two new planes are received per week, a cadence that will last until the end of this year at least.

United operates a mixed fleet with 45 737 MAX 8s and 56 MAX 9s so far while Southwest only owns the 737-8 – the company is expected to receive dozens of 737 MAX 7s when it is certified this year.

The third largest growth was registered by the also American Alaska Airlines, whose fleet of the 737 MAX jumped from 20 to 43 aircraft.

Alaska Boeing 737 MAX 9

China is left behind

American Airlines, on the other hand, has paused the expansion of the jet’s fleet, remaining with 42 737 MAX 8s while there are another 88 pending delivery.

Pos. Carrier 737 MAX 8 737 MAX 9 Total fleet (2023) Var. Total fleet (2022)
Southwest Airlines 166 166 131% 72
United Airlines 45 56 101 120% 46
Ryanair 99 99 50% 66
Aeromexico 33 17 50 22% 41
flyDubai 44 3 47 62% 29
Alaska Airlines 43 43 115% 20
American Airlines 42 42 0% 42
Air Canada 40 40 11% 36
Gol Linhas Aéreas 38 38 23% 31
10º Tui Group 37 37 19% 31

The biggest customer of the 737 MAX outside the US is Ryanair, whose group is also close to arriving with 100 planes, thanks to the addition of 33 units in the last 12 months.

China, however, contrasts with the West, as the airlines that had ordered the plane from Boeing kept their fleets out of use for a long time and did not return to receive more units.

Boeing 737 MAX from Shenzen Airlines (Windmemories)


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