Boeing unveils the 737 MAX 9

On its way to a podium finish the first 737 MAX 9

The LEAP-1B-powered Boeing 737 MAX began flight tests in January 2016 and the engine has performed exceptionally well in more than 2,200 aircraft flight hours.

Following on from 737 MAX 8 rollout and flight test, Boeing is now rolling out the first new 737 MAX 9, right on schedule.

Such planes are popular with budget airlines that comprise a key market for both aircraft manufacturers.

Meanwhile the A321 NEO was certified to take its second engine option made by the Franco-American CFM consortium last week, and continues to eat the Boeing alternative designs alive when it comes to winning orders.

Steven Udvar-Hazy, executive chairman of Air Lease, who is regarded as one of the industry's most influential voices, questioned the logic of adding a longer version of the slow-selling 737 MAX 9, which was rolled out on Tuesday.

The 737 MAX 9 is scheduled to enter service in 2018. "Our primary focus is delivering an aircraft that has the legendary reliability our 737 customers depend on, plus the optimised flexibility and range capability they desire".

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"Boeing is actively engaged in discussions with customers about the 737 MAX 10X", Boeing's Randy Tinseth said in a company blog post.

Boeing claims the third generation of its venerable 737 reduces fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions by an additional 14 percent over competing narrowbody airliners, which would include Airbus.

Indonesian low-priced carrier Lion Air is to be the launch customer for the 737 Max 9.

Boeing's first 747 MAX 9 jet makes a splash at the company's Renton plant.

The plane is expected to be flying commercially some time next year.

Boeing has secured more than 3,600 737 MAX family aircraft orders from 83 customers.

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