Today we opened our schedule from Sept. 30 through Nov. 3. While there are always cool things about every new schedule, this one is special—special to the MAX!
The 737 MAX 8 joins the Southwest fleet in the schedule effective October 1! And (of course!) we’re not wasting the arrival of our future without a loving nod to our past. So, on that Sunday morning, the very first 737 MAX 8 revenue flight will fly the routes that gave us our start— Dallas to Houston, Houston to San Antonio, and San Antonio back home to Dallas. The schedule for the first three flights will be as follows:
Of course, this is only three flights on the introduction of one MAX aircraft. On October 1, Southwest will launch nine of these beauties, which will be followed about a week later by number 10, ending the year with 14 MAX 8 aircrafts in our fleet. They will be, for the most part, dedicated to longer-haul flights, and for the time being their overnights will be confined to Maintenance Bases or Crew Bases. The MAX 8 will have the amazing Boeing Sky Interior with the same large pivoting overhead bins as our 737-800,the Heart Interior layout, and will fly farther with better economics than the already wonderful 737-800. ARE YOU READY FOR THE FUTURE? I sure am!!
This means the 737-300, our expansion vehicle for so many years, will be retiring from scheduled service on September 30. More about our retirement plan for the 737-300s in a later blog post!
And, of course, we DO have a new schedule to talk about! We totally re-optimized the October schedule with Monday through Friday almost identical, while individually optimizing both Saturday and Sunday. Besides the normal parameter changes (gates, fleet counts, block times, etc.,) we have several other changes to tell you about. Three markets see changes to their day-of-week operations, while we'll say ,“see you next year!” to sixteen seasonal markets.
Look for more about the retirement of the Classics (the 737-300 and 737-500 airplanes, not ME!) in an upcoming blog post. Get out the sunshades because our future with the 737 MAX 8 is so bright you’re going to need ‘em! Have a great St. Patrick’s Day!!