Boeing is to target its new 200-seat minor modelof the 737 Max at the fast-growing low-cost carrier market.

“We’re trying to get the best operating economics for the low-cost guys by providing the most amount of seats in an airplane,” says Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner.

The budget airline segment has already attracted a high-density, 189-seat version of the Airbus A320neo aimed at putting the European narrowbody on a par with the current layout of the 737-800 or 737 Max 8.

Scheduled to enter service in 2019, Boeing’s new 200-seat model should be 20% more fuel efficient than the comparative 737-800 with 189 seats, Boeing says. An exit door placed behind the wing of the larger 737-9 Max is to be added to the airframe of the 189-seat 737-8 Max, increasing potential capacity by 11 seats or nearly two full rows.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has been demanding a 199-seat version of the 737-800 and 737 Max 8 for several years. Last year, Conner was asked about satisfying O’Leary’s repeated requests, but said the company wanted to focus on delivering the 737 Max 8 on schedule in the third quarter of 2017.

“I think we got a lot more comfortable with where we were and where we are,” Conner says. “The airplane’s performance has continued to improve over the course of the year.”

Source: Cirium Dashboard