Southwest Expands LEAP-1B Fleet

March 29, 2021

WEST CHESTER, Ohio — 29 March 2021 — Southwest Airlines today announced the purchase of advanced CFM International LEAP-1B engines to power 100 Boeing 737 MAX 7 aircraft.

The MAX aircraft, with CFM International’s LEAP-1B engines, enables exceptional operational efficiencies such as a 14 percent lower rate of fuel burn that reduces carbon emissions, quieter engines, which benefit the communities we serve, and excellent dispatch reliability to support our on-time operations.

In addition to supporting our efforts to operate sustainably and efficiently, the 737 MAX offers Employees and Customers travel comforts such as a quieter cabin, larger overhead bin spaces, seating with adjustable headrests, and more galley space for onboard service

Mike Van de Ven, Southwest’s Chief Operating Officer

Southwest originally launched the LEAP-1B engine on the 737 MAX in 2011 with an order for 150 firm aircraft. The new airplanes are scheduled to begin delivery in 2022.

“We are excited to take yet another monumental step forward in our long-standing partnership with Southwest Airlines,” said Gaël Méheust, president and CEO of CFM International. “Furthermore, this agreement shows the trust this airline has in our products, and it clearly demonstrates the collective confidence we continue to share in the Boeing MAX aircraft and its bright future ahead.”

“We are deeply honored that Southwest Airlines has again placed its trust in CFM,” said Jason Tonich, VP Global Sales & Marketing at CFM parent company GE Aviation. “It has been exciting to watch the evolution of their 737 fleet and we believe the new MAX aircraft expansion has a very bright future. We are proud to be such a big part of the Southwest team.”

In 1984, Southwest Airlines played a pivotal role in CFM’s history by launching the CFM56-3 engine as the sole powerplant for what is now called the Boeing 737 Classic. In 1997, the airline launched the CFM56-7B as the sole powerplant on the Boeing Next-Generation 737. Today, the airline is CFM’s largest commercial customer, operating a fleet of more than 700 CFM-powered 737s.

CFM’s advanced LEAP engine continues to set new industry standards for fuel efficiency and asset utilization, logging more than 10 million engine flight hours in commercial operation. The fleet is providing better fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions, as well as a significant improvement in noise compared to the best CFM56 engines. The LEAP-1B engine entered into service on the Boeing 737 MAX in 2017. More than 460 aircraft have been delivered to some 50 operators worldwide and the fleet has logged 1.7 million engine flight hours.

About Southwest Airlines:
In its 50th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 56,000 Employees to a Customer base that topped 130 million Passengers in 2019. Southwest has a robust network of point-to-point service with a strong presence across top leisure and business markets. In peak travel seasons during 2019, Southwest operated more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 101 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries.



A 50/50 joint venture between GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines, CFM International has redefined international cooperation and helped change the course of commercial aviation since its founding in 1974. Today, CFM is the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines with a product line that sets the industry standard for efficiency, reliability, durability, and optimized cost of ownership. CFM International produces the LEAP family of engines and supports LEAP and CFM56 fleets for operators worldwide. .


Charles Soret,


Nathan Hicks,

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