Boeing debuted its brand new 737 MAX-7 aircraft on Monday at its factory in Renton, Washington, and is preparing to begin test flights in the upcoming weeks.
The aviation industry has been following the progress of the aircraft — the smallest of Boeing’s 737 MAX family — over the past few months.
It can fly up to 3,850 nautical miles, the most in the 737 MAX family. While the aircraft follows the industry trend of becoming more fuel-efficient (18-percent lower fuel costs per seat than its predecessor, the 737-700), the plane is also small. The single-aisle aircraft can carry a maximum of 172 passengers.
Boeing expects that passengers will be able to fly on the aircraft in 2019 — although there are currently less than 70 orders placed for the 737 MAX-7. According to a report last month by Bloomberg, Southwest (one of the main customers for the 737 MAX-7) delayed orders for 23 of the aircraft.
The airline will only take seven of the jets in 2019, down from the previously expected 15. Southwest switched some of its orders to the 737 MAX-8, a larger version of the aircraft, capable of carrying 210 passengers and flying 3,550 nautical miles.