It is on course to reach the firm configuration in mid-2013. Intriguingly, Aspire Aviation can exclusively reveal that Boeing is looking to feature a door modification on the 737 MAX 8 which will add around 9 seats to the aircraft’s capacity of seating 162 passengers in a 2-class configuration. The door modification is likely to be a standard feature across all MAX variants, Aspire Aviation‘s sources at Chicago-based Boeing say.
As a result, the 737 MAX 8 will likely seat 171 passengers while the MAX 7 and MAX 9 will accommodate 135 and 189 passengers in a 2-class configuration, respectively. Though the 737 MAX 9, capable of carrying 215 and 226 passengers in a single-class layout before and after the door modification, is unlikely to match the A321neo’s high-capacity 236-seat option enabled by the addition of an overwing exit, deactivation of door 2 and a push back in the location of door 3, as well as adopting the SpaceFlex aft-cabin configuration. Airbus claims this high-capacity configuration will reduce seat-mile costs by 5% alone.
The door modification, the same sources say, will enable the 737 MAX 8 to meet its 13% fuel burn per seat reduction target while increasing its payload/range performance with a “negligible” impact on the aircraft’s manufacturer’s empty weight (MEW).
Its interesting, but what Im failing to understand is what kind of modification to the door will allow them to add 9 more seats unto the aircraft? Or does the article mean to say door configuration??
[Edited 2013-05-27 07:40:11]