Boeing & Embraer roll out the stretched version of their bestselling planes

Boeing rolled out the first 737 MAX 9 aircraft at the Renton, Washington plant on 7th March 2017. Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer rolled out the E195-E2, the largest jet in its Regional Jet family, at São José dos Campos on the same day. Both aircraft will undergo extensive tests in the coming year. The 737 MAX 9 is scheduled to enter service in 2018 while the E195-E2 is expected to start commercial service in 2019.

The 737 MAX 9 is the second member of the MAX family following the most popular member of the family, 737 MAX 8 which was rolled out on 8th December 2015 and had a maiden flight on 29th January 2016. Boeing promises a range of 3515 nautical miles for the 737 MAX 9 with a maximum capacity of 220 passengers. The 737 MAX family is the refreshed B737 and claims lower per seat costs than the A320neo. Unlike the A320neo family, B737 MAX will be available with only one engine option, the CFM International Leap 1B.

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737 MAX 9. Image Courtesy – Boeing

Embraer aims to achieve a 20% reduction in cost per trip and match cost per seat with larger airliners like the Airbus A320 and Boeing B737, both of which are in the market with re-engine versions. The E195-E2 allows airlines to add two rows of seats as compared to the existing E195s and could potentially accommodate 146 passengers in single class configuration.

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E195-E2. Image Courtesy – Embraer

Embraer will use two aircraft for the E195-E2 certification campaign. The first prototype will be used for the aerodynamic and performance tests, while the second will be used for the validation of maintenance tasks and of the interior. The E190-E2 was rolled out on 25th February 2016 and took to the skies on 23rd May 2016, few months ahead of schedule.

Embraer invested upwards of USD 1.7 billion in the E2 program which was launched in June 2013 and sees 275 firm orders so far. Embraer dropped the smallest member of the E-jets family while moving to the E2 platform and offers the E195, E190 and E175 as part of the revamped family. The E2 family of Embraer has opted for Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan Technology, the same which is struggling on the A320neo platform.

The 737 MAX 8 is on track to deliver to customers in the second quarter of 2017. The 737 MAX 8 is likely to enter service with Norwegian Air Shuttle starting next month.  Boeing has over 3000 firm orders for the MAX.

Air Costa was to be the Asian launch customer for the E190-E2 as well as the E195-E2 having placed order for 25 each at Singapore Airshow in 2014. The airline which operated 4 E-jets at its peak, suspended operations on 28th February 2017.

Spicejet recently placed an order for 205 B737 MAX while Jet Airways has 75 on order. Both the airlines are expected to take delivery starting 2018.

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