Boeing is expected to unveil the first of the 737 Max Jetliners today. Employees and invited guests will be able to see the first finished 737 Max Jetliner outside of the Renton, Wash. factory today.
The updated 737 Max will burn an estimated 14 percent less fuel per seat than current 737’s. With the savings in fuel, the 737’s will also be able to fly farther which will open new routes for airlines.
Despite the success of the Dreamliner launch in 2007, the 737 Max has not drawn the same amount of attention or fanfare. However, Boeing’s success is equally dependent on this new plane for fortune success.
There is some speculation that the reason behind the limited release is due to Boeing’s need to “under-promise and over-deliver.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “Investors remain jittery that its huge backlog of commercial jets relies heavily on airlines in brittle emerging markets, and its most recent airplane programs have been plagued by problems.”
Boeing needs the 737 Max to succeed after the 767 passenger jet cost billions of dollars in charges. There is also the A320neo plane from the European company, Airbus, which can also pose a threat to the 737 Max. This year, Boeing has racked up 292 orders for the 737 Max line, which is a small decrease from the 781 orders during that same time frame in 2014.
The timeline for the 737 Max is still on schedule. Boeing is anticipating that the plane will be ready for flight early in 2016 and the Southwest Airlines launch is expected to happen in the third quarter of 2017.
“We wanted them to take a path to getting that done and getting it flying as quickly as possible,” Mike Van de Ven, Southwest’s chief operating officer, said. “I’ve been very appreciative that they’ve kept within the timelines.”
Those interested in following the countdown can do so on Boeing’s website.