Boeing Company is going to be offering a modified version of its 737 in order to chase the demand for low cost carriers seeking more seating, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Boeing announced it’s plans for the new plane at a media round table with the vice chairman and commercial airplane unit executive officer, Ray Conner. The announcement comes ahead of the Farnborough Air Show, which starts on Monday, July 14.
According to Boeing, the new configuration will increase the per seat efficiency by 5%, a pretty significant increase per seat for any airline seeking to purchase the new 737. However, Boeing also acknowledges that operation of the new aircraft will cost more money to operate, but they also say that the cost differential will be spread out over more ticketed passengers.
The reconfiguration adds an extra door to the already standard 737. The first aircraft of the new model, 737-8, will be delivered to Southwest Airlines in 2017, according to Conner. The current model of the 737 has a maximum capacity of 189.
The changes will have an impact on passenger comfort. The extra door will meet the requirement for all 200 passengers to exit the aircraft within 90 seconds. This extra exit will get rid of 2 inches of legroom, leaving only 29 inches between seats.
According to the WSJ, most airlines would not supersede 199 passengers because of a United States and European regulation that would require the airline to have another flight attendant on staff.
Boeing has said that the reconfiguration is an interesting way to make changes to existing models, something they has also done with increasing fuel efficiency with the 737 MAX.