June 19, 2013 / 8:22 AM / 4 years ago

AIRSHOW-Boeing says 737 MAX to enter service in Q3 2017

PARIS, June 19 (Reuters) - Boeing’s upgraded and re-engined version of its 737 aircraft will come into service in the third quarter of 2017, around six months earlier than scheduled, a company executive said at the Paris Airshow.

This helps the 737 MAX close the gap with its main rival - the upgraded Airbus 320neo due to enter service in October 2015 - in a highly competitive market segment making up almost 60 percent of all passenger aircraft in service.

Boeing remains on track with its development programme for the 737 MAX, Scott Francher, vice-president and general manager of airplane development at Boeing, added on Wednesday.

The Boeing 737 MAX features new more efficient engines and winglets that will give it better fuel usage and lower operating costs over existing similar aircraft, the company has said.

Leasing company CIT was the latest to order the aircraft after inking a deal on Wednesday for 30 737 MAX aircraft worth $30 billion at list prices.

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