The new Boeing 737 MAX 9 has completed its first flight above the US planemaker’s factory near Seattle.
The largest version of the fuel-efficient single-aisle series, the737 MAX 9 has a maximum capacity of 220 passengers. Following the initial flight, which lasted two hours and 42 minutes, the aircraft will undergo further tests ahead of its first delivery in 2018.
“The MAX 9’s first flight is another milestone that continues the programme’s strong track record of progress,” said Boeing’s commercial president & CEO, Kevin McAllister. “The MAX family of airplanes offers more value than any competitor and its strong market acceptance is reflected in over 3,700 airplanes on order from 86 customers around the world.”
The standard 737 MAX 8 is due to enter service year with Indonesia’s Lion Air Group, although the first delivery will be to launch customer Southwest Airlines. Following the introduction of the 737 MAX 9 next year, a third version – the smaller 737 MAX 7 – will then be introduced in 2019.
Airlines around the world, including Lion Air, Southwest, SpiceJet and Ryanair, have placed large orders for the 737 MAX series, which marks the latest incarnation of the popular single-aisle 737 series.