The US airline has chosen the 737 MAX 7, relaunching the smallest model in Boeing's medium-haul family with 100 firm purchases and 155 options against the Airbus A220.
737 MAX 7: the latest addition to the Boeing family
With this order for 100 firm aircraft and 155 options, Southwest Airlines is re-launching the Boeing 737 MAX 7, the smallest of a four-member medium-haul family. The contract brings to 200 the number of 737 MAX 7s ordered on a firm basis by the airline, which also has 180 Boeing 737 MAX 8s in its backlog. In addition, there are options for a mix of the two models for a total of 270 additional aircraft. In total, no less than 650 Boeing medium-haul aircraft. This will give perspective and time to the engine manufacturer CFM International as well as to the equipment manufacturers present on both models. Southwest Airlines has also announced its intention to lease aircraft.
737 MAX versus Airbus A220
With this order, Boeing is re-launching its 737 MAX 7 against the Airbus A220. The aircraft has a capacity of 138 to 153 seats in a two-class layout and up to 172 seats in a single-class configuration with a fuselage length of 35.56 metres. The range is 7,130 km (3,850 nm). The target is essentially the Airbus A220-300, which takes 120 to 150 passengers in a two-class configuration and up to 160 seats in a single-class layout for a range of 6 300 km.
The consequences of the order
With a starting base of 200 aircraft for the 737 MAX 7, Boeing can challenge Airbus on current and future sales campaigns. The European manufacturer has certainly taken the lead, particularly on the North American market with 270 firm sales, including 225 A220-300s, but its competitor now has an offer to make to the market. The consequences of the Southwest Airlines order will be more troublesome for the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer and its E190-E2 and E195-E2, which are facing dual competition from Airbus and Boeing.
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