737 MAX 8 could be enabler for some LCC Long Haul

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By Scott Hamilton and Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

737-8 range

Figure 1. Nominal range of 737 MAX 8 from Oslo Source: Great circle mapper, Boeing. Click on Image to enlarge

Dec, 8, 2014:The Boeing 737-8 MAX is the successor to the 737-800 and has largely been thought of in this context.

Our analysis, prompted by Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) plans to use Boeing 737-8 MAXes to begin trans-Atlantic service on long, thin routes, comes up with a conclusion that has gotten little understanding in the marketplace: the 8 MAX has enough range and seating to open a market niche below the larger, longer-legged 757, and the economics to support profitable operations for Low Cost Carriers interested in some trans-Atlantic routes or destinations beyond the range of the -800.

Summary

  • We based our analysis on our proprietary, economic modeling, assumed Norwegian cabin configuration standards.
  • We compared the operating costs of the 737-8 with Norwegian’s present long haul aircraft 787-8 in a similar cabin configuration.
  • The comparison range is the max endurance range for an LCC long haul 737-8, eight hours or 3,400nm air distance (no wind included).

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