Boeing rolled out the first 737 MAX 9 on 7th March. The 737 MAX 9 is the second member of the 737 MAX family, with a maximum capacity of 220 passengers and a range of 3,515 nautical miles.
The aircraft will start system checks, fueling and engine runs on the flight line. Once completed, the aircraft will begin flight testing in the coming weeks – the final phase of verification of the operational characteristics and overall performance.
The 737 MAX 9 is scheduled to enter service in 2018. The 737 MAX 8 is on track to deliver to customers in the second quarter of 2017. The MAX 8 and 9 will be followed in 2019 by the smaller MAX 7 and higher capacity MAX 200, while studies and discussions continue with customers on growing the family.
Meanwhile, Boeing is also looking at a new stretched variant, 737 MAX 10X, designed to fill a gap in the Boeing product lineup versus the Airbus A321neo LR. Former VP Marketing Randy Tinseth confirmed on his blog that the company is actively engaged in discussions with customers about the 737 MAX 10X and has already extended business offers to some of those customers.
Tinseth claims that, compared to the A321neo, the MAX 10X would offer the same capacity, lower costs (5% lower per seat and 5% lower per trip) and more range. He says the MAX 10X would follow the MAX 200 and MAX 7, with entry into service in the 2020 time frame.