Boeing’s difficult road to certification for the 737-7 seems to be inching closer, per exclusive reports from Reuters.
737-7 To Be Certified By April 2024
This follows the major U.S. carrier speaking with Reuters following discussions with Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration.
If Boeing could secure certification for the variant, they’d be able to introduce the plane towards the fourth quarter of 2024 officially.
Ultimately, the proposed timeframe is still a substantial delay on initial forecasts but would be a massive weight off the shoulders of the American plane maker.
Southwest’s CEO spoke with Reuters and indicated that they’ll aim for a Q4 introduction from an April 2024 certification per their official planning.
Certification Could Come Earlier
While Boeing is racing in the safest manner possible to get certification, Southwest executives say it could also come sooner than April 2024.
The low-cost carrier is ensuring that any delays are counted into the forecast rather than looking at a timeline that may be unrealistic.
Per Boeing’s latest forecasts, they are still shooting for approval before the end of the year. This gives them around 40 days to secure the certification.
The Boeing 737-7
Boeing’s 737-7 is expected to seat 172 passengers in a standard cabin configuration. Ultimately, this is down from the 737-8, which can hold 210.
However, the 737-8 has an increased range of around 300 nautical miles, bringing it to 3,800nm or 7,040 kilometres.
The 737-7s length is 35.56 metres of 116ft 8 in. As a result of the shortened body of the -8, this is almost 4 metres shorter than the 737-8. Its wingspan, however, stays the same as the 737-8 at 35.9 metres or 117 ft 10 in.
Current 737-7 Orders
The 737-7 slot into the many entries to the MAX family with its smaller capacity than previous variants.
Southwest is the largest customer for the 737-7. Thus, the type will be a critical component to their future for the long-term and allow for the retirement of ageing 737NGs.
Away from Southwest, WestJet, Allegiant and LuxAir are shown to have commitments to the 737-7 per data from Cirium.