The Southwest Airlines fleet in 2024 | Flightradar24 Blog (2024)

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Chris Lomas
  • Updated: May 7, 2024

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 typeNumber in fleet
Boeing 737 MAX 8228
Boeing 737-800381
Boeing 737-700207

26 years of the Boeing 737-800

The newest aircraft

The newest aircraft in the Southwest fleet is N8921Q. This Boeing 737 MAX 8 was built in November 2023 as MSN 42581 and currently operates flights between airports including Denver (DEN), Phoenix (PHX), Indianapolis (IND), Las Vegas (LAS) and Salt Lake City (SLC). It’s no secret that the MAX family hasn’t had an easy ride into service, and Southwest was amongst numerous airlines that grounded and stored their MAX fleet following the crashes of Lion Air flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. Closely following this aircraft is another MAX 8, N8920Q, also built in November 2023 as MSN 42557. Southwest began to introduce the MAX from 2017, and have a fleet of 228 MAX aircraft as of May 2024.

The Southwest Airlines fleet in 2024 | Flightradar24 Blog (3)

The oldest aircraft

The oldest aircraft in the Southwest fleet is N560WN, a Boeing 737-790 built in March 2000. One of 381 700 series aircraft in the fleet, N560WN operates flights between airports including San Diego (SAN), Bellingham (BLI), Oakland (OAK), Sacramento (SMF) and Burbank (BUR). This aircraft was originally delivered to Alaska Airlines (AS/ASA) in 2000 as N617AS, going on to join Southwest in June 2014.

The Southwest Airlines fleet in 2024 | Flightradar24 Blog (4)

Southwest previously operated a fleet of Boeing 737 classic aircraft, primarily focussed on the -300 series. The airline retired the last 30 of these in 2022 as more 737 MAX jets were brought online.

Have you flown on any of these Southwest aircraft? Let us know in the comments.

Cover photo: Positive Rate Photography, JetPhotos.

BoeingSouthwest AirlinesWN-SWA

  • Published:May 7, 2024

The Southwest Airlines fleet in 2024 | Flightradar24 Blog (6)

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Chris Lomas

Chris is a Commercial Pilot and lover of all things aviation. Based in London, Chris researches and writes articles on what’s happening in the world of aviation for Flightradar24.

More about Chris Lomas

Chris Lomas

Chris is a Commercial Pilot and lover of all things aviation. Based in London, Chris researches and writes articles on what’s happening in the world of aviation for Flightradar24.

More about Chris Lomas

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