Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) celebrated a milestone achievement today (May 20) on the 737 MAX program, surpassing the 2000th order for the super-efficient single-aisle airplane. With the addition of 30 orders from unidentified customers this week, the 737 MAX now has a total of 2,010 orders from 39 customers worldwide, valued at $209 billion at list prices. The 737 MAX also has commitments for more than 250 additional airplanes.
The 737 MAX has reached 2,000 orders faster than any other Boeing airplane in history. This unprecedented demand is fueled by air traffic growth and the need for more fuel-efficient airplanes.
According to Boeing, “the 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service. The 737 is more fuel efficient than the A320 today and will be more fuel efficient than the A320neo tomorrow. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see an 8 percent operating cost per seat advantage over the A320neo”.
On track to begin final assembly in mid-2015, the 737 MAX will fly in 2016 and will be delivered to launch customer Southwest Airlines in the third quarter of 2017.
Even with the later adjustments, 2K orders in-picket is more than plenty to keep the Renton lines thriving for years. While the MAX is probably the end of the 737 line, you know that the backroom boys at Boeing are already thinking about what the eventual replacement will be. Most ideas and rough designs will never see the engineering state; to be filed away… Boeing has owned that side market for decades and they will not just quit. While some note that the MAX may be (0.5%?) less efficient than the 320 NEO (maybe…) the Boeing is also regarded as a far more robust machine and able to service routes that the AB cannot. We’ll see. The 737 replacement will incorporate features of the 77 and 78 lines as well as a many that we have never considered. At the end of the long 73 cycle, Boeing is not going to go away. -C