The MAX 7, newest and smallest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family, is ready to begin flight test in the coming weeks.
While the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,300 orders from 92 customers worldwide, sales of the MAX 7 model have been very slow, despite a redesign in 2016. The redesign stretched the fuselage to add two extra rows of seats.
The 737 MAX 7 is scheduled to enter service in 2019, following delivery to launch customer Southwest Airlines. The other customers for MAX 7 are Westjet of Canada, Chinese carrier Ruili Airlines, new Canadian low-cost entrant Jetlines and airplane lessor Air Lease Corp.
It is designed for up to 172 passengers and a maximum range of 3,850 nautical miles, which is the longest range of the MAX airplane family.
“For our airline customers serving airports at high altitudes or remote locations, the MAX 7 is the ideal complement to their fleet. We look forward to demonstrating the incredible flexibility and range of this airplane,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “This is the third 737 MAX family member our team has successfully introduced in just three years. That’s a phenomenal accomplishment and a testament to the dedication of the entire 737 team.”
The aircraft debut was celebrated at the company’s Renton, Washington factory.