The Boeing Co.'s (Seattle, Wash., USA) board of directors on Aug. 30 approved the launch of the new engine variant of the 737, based on order commitments for 496 airplanes from five airlines and a strong business case. The new plane will be called 737 MAX.
"The re-engined 737 will allow Boeing to continue to deliver the most fuel efficient, most capable airplane with the lowest operating costs in the single-aisle market," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh. "This, coupled with industry leading reliability and maintainability, is what customers have told us they want. As a result, we are seeing overwhelming demand for this new and improved version of the 737. We are working with our customers to finalize these and other agreements in the weeks and months ahead."
The new 737 family will be powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines optimized for the 737. It will have the lowest operating costs in the single-aisle segment with a 7 percent advantage over the competition. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017.
"Customers tell us they want to improve profitability and fuel efficiency while reducing their environmental footprint," said Albaugh. "This solution meets all three of those needs."
When compared to a fleet of 100 of today's most fuel-efficient airplanes, this new model will emit 277,000 fewer tons of CO2 and save nearly 175 million lb of fuel per year, which translates into $85 million in cost savings. The airplane's fuel burn is expected to be 16 percent lower than our competitor's current offering and 4 percent lower than their future offering.
Boeing has named Bob Feldmann vice president and general manager of the new engine 737 family. With 35 years of aerospace experience, Feldmann most recently led the Surveillance and Engagement division within Boeing Military Aircraft, a unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security that includes several commercial derivative programs based on the 737 platform. He has been instrumental in leading the successful development of complex programs such as the EA-18G Growler and the P-8A Poseidon.
The new family of aircraft includes the 737 MAX 7, 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9.