The monumental screw up that was the 737 Max program has been getting back on track with the return to service of the 737-8 and 737-9 along with the new deliveries coming off the line. The 737-7 has been in flight test for a while now but its certification was going to be delayed until the main fleet issues had been resolved. Reports now suggest that it will be certificated in plenty of time before the year end deadline that Congress set for cockpit upgrade requirements.
A few Southwest 737-7s (Southwest is the significant customer for this marque) have been parked up at Renton for a while. These had been painted and then stored. However, a couple of 737-7s made flights to Boeing Field in recent times. These are Southwest jets but they have yet to be painted. The fact that they are on the move might be interpreted as suggesting that certification may not be too far away and that Southwest may soon be taking delivery. During the downturn that resulted from the pandemic, Southwest increased its -7 orders at the expense of the -8s. Now traffic is booming, I wonder whether Southwest will reverse that reversal and switch more orders to the -8.
Plenty of 737 Max jets are changing their colors at the moment. The cancellation clauses of the purchase contracts have allowed a bunch of airlines to cancel their orders without penalty as a result of the extended delays in delivery – something that may have been welcome during the pandemic! Boeing has seen an uptick in demand for airframes recently and has been mostly successful in reselling these finished airframes.
This one showed up recently at Boeing Field. It is all white so may have been identified as problematic before it ever got painted in airline colors. The people I was chatting too had no idea where it was due to go and whether it could even be a BBJ. No doubt it will soon find a home if it hasn’t already.