FARNBOROUGH—Boeing has confirmed plans to revamp the slow-selling 737-7, the smallest of its new re-engined MAX family, by adding extra seats. But the airframer is expressing an increasingly cautious attitude to the possible development of a larger variant of the 737-9 to compete directly with the Airbus A321neo.
“We are finalizing the size of the 737-7 and will increase it by two seat rows, or about 12 seats bigger than the 737-700 Next Generation,” said John Wojick, Boeing’s sales and marketing vice president. “People ask ‘Why?’ Because our large customers for the 737 have all voted, including Southwest [Airlines] and WestJet [Airlines], and they wanted an airplane that produced more capability, more range and more seat count than the airplane they both operate today. So we are officially increasing the size of that aircraft.”