(BUSINESSWEEK) — Boeing Co. is working on a high-capacity modification of its 737 narrow-body model aimed at discount airlines seeking to pack in as many travelers as possible on short-haul flights.
The aircraft will seat as many as 200 in a single cabin and is based on the re-engined 737 Max 8 set to debut in 2017, Ray Conner, chief executive officer of Boeing’s commercial airplane unit, said today ahead of the Farnborough Air Show.
Boeing and Airbus Group NV (AIR) are vying to squeeze more people into single-aisle jets as clients including Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s No. 1 discount carrier, seek lower unit costs. Airbus previously said it planned to boost the number of seats on its A320neo by nine to 189, the same number that Ryanair has in its fleet of 737-800s, which the Max 8 succeeds.