Boeing has confirmed the 737 Max 7 has been redesigned to accommodate two more seat rows with up to 12 more seats than available today on the 737-700.
The announcement on 11 July at the Farnborough air show comes about two months after Boeing acknowledged discussions with customers to stretch the design.
Southwest Airlines and WestJet, which are the two largest customers for the slow-selling 737-7 variant, asked Boeing to slightly increase the size of the aircraft.
“It’s not so much about responding competitors out there. It’s much more about responding to our customer needs,” says John Wojick, Boeing’s chief salesman. “I don’t know that it dramatically changes the sales” outlook for the 737-7 variant.
Boeing is scheduled to deliver the 737-7 in the second quarter of 2019.
Boeing vice-president of marketing Randy Tinseth notes the stretch of the 737-7 follows the example of the larger 737-800, which entered service in the late-1990s. The 737-800 represented a stretch of two seat rows over the 737-400.
The new pairing of the 138-seat 737-7 and the 160-seat 737-8 now “brackets our competition quite well and I like that part”.
CORRECTION: Article updated with corrected timing for the entry into service of the 737 Max 7.