First delivery of high-density aircraft scheduled for 2019
Boeing is launching a high-density variant of its 737-8 aircraft, following a firm order for 100 of the planes from low-cost carrier Ryanair, Aviation Week reports. The deal is worth more than $11 billion, delivery to start in 2019.
The new variant is part of Boeing’s 737 MAX family, called the 737 MAX 200. First revealed by Boeing at this year’s Farnborough International Air Show in the UK, it will seat up to 200 passengers, though Ryanair will configure it with seating for 197.
The final versions of the three main 737 MAX models, the -7, -8 and -9, are also still being developed, with a schedule for certification of the 737-8 in 2017, the 737-9 in 2018 and the 737-7 in 2019.
“This is the aircraft we have been waiting for 10 years now,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said. “It marks a step change in Ryanair’s efficiency.”
The airline operates an all-Boeing fleet of around 300 737-800s. It is also committed to taking 180 additional planes of this type it ordered last year. As it retires some older planes it is aiming at a fleet of 420 within five years and 520 within 10 years.
[pictured: Boeing 737 MAX 200; image courtesy Boeing]