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Southwest & Emirates close the book on the planes that built their airlines

Unintentional history at Paine Field.

One cabin door closes, another opens: It’s wholly unremarkable to see a Southwest Airlines 737 or an Emirates 777 land at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. Each Southwest delivery makes the airport its first stop after being delivered. New wi-fi-less 737s with unpainted winglets arrive from Boeing Field to be readied for service. For Emirates, each of the more than 150 777-300ERs it has taken from Boeing began its life at this airport.

On October 1, a brand new 737-800 for Southwest made the 21 minute hop north after delivery. It was the last of its kind and the last the airline had on order with Boeing. The airline has been taking delivery of Next Generation 737s since December 17, 1997. It was flying 258 737 Classics that day in 1997 when it added its first 737-700 and the carrier has taken 562 737NGs directly from Boeing since, according to the plane maker, more than any other on its way to becoming the U.S.’s largest domestic airline.

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