Thousands of Boeing employees celebrated the debut of the company's first 737 MAX 7 at its factory in Renton, Wash (view photos in gallery).
The MAX 7 is the third and newest member of Boeing's 737 MAX family to come down the assembly line. The jet is designed for up to 172 passengers and a maximum range of 3,850 nautical miles, which is the longest range of the MAX airplane family.
Technology improvements allow the MAX 7 to fly 1,000 nautical miles farther and carry more passengers than its predecessor, the 737-700, while having 18 percent lower fuel costs per seat (view infographic in gallery).
The first MAX 7 will now undergo system checks, fueling and engine runs on the flight line in Renton. The airplane, the first of two MAX 7 flight test airplanes, will begin its flight testing program in the coming weeks.
The 737 MAX 7 is scheduled to enter service in 2019, following delivery to launch customer Southwest Airlines.
The entire 737 MAX family is designed to offer customers lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market.
The MAX 8 entered service with customers across the globe last year, and the MAX 9 will start deliveries in the coming months.
The MAX 10 was launched at last year's Paris Air Show and is scheduled to enter service in the 2020 time frame.
According to the company, the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,300 orders from 92 customers worldwide.