Boeing has officially launched its 737 MAX 7 – the smallest version of its new series of fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft.
The B737 MAX 7 is the third version of the B737 MAX series to be introduced by Boeing, following the standard MAX 8 and stretched MAX 9 models. It will enter service with launch customer Southwest Airlines, which became the first airline to order the B737 MAX 7 when it converted 30 existing B737 orders into orders for the new model. Southwest is expected to take delivery of its first 737 MAX 7 in 2019.
“We are thrilled to announce that Southwest Airlines and Boeing have entered into an agreement for Southwest to be the launch customer for the Boeing MAX 7 series,” said the Texas-based airline’s chairman, president & CEO, Gary C. Kelly. “The 737 MAX 7 builds on the strengths of today’s Next-Generation 737-700, incorporating the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines is expected to reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by an additional 12% over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplane.”
As mentioned by Kelly, Boeing is promising significant fuel savings with its B737 MAX series. Effectively a new-engine version of the existing B737 series, the B737 MAX is expected to offer around 4% less fuel burn than the Airbus A320neo, which will be the main rival to the B737 MAX when it enters service.
A direct replacement for the B737-700, the B737 MAX 7 is the smallest of the three single-aisle models, measuring 33.6 metres in length and seating approximately 126 passengers in a standard two-class layout. The new engine efficiency however, will enable the aircraft to fly approximately 740km further than the existing B737-700, with a range of just over 7,000km.
“Southwest has been a valued partner in the evolution of the 737 programme,” said Ray Conner, president & CEO of Boeing’s commercial unit. “We have worked together to launch several models of the 737 including the 737 MAX family in 2011. We are excited to bring the 737 MAX 7 to market with Southwest.”
Boeing has now taken more than 1,250 orders for the B737 MAX series of aircraft. The B737-8 MAX is due to enter service in 2017.