Boeing (NYSE: BA ) continues to make improvements on its 737 MAX, with engineers today confirming another a 1-percentage-point fuel-efficiency upgrade. That may not sound like a lot, but that's in addition to the already promised 13% fuel improvement to customers.
Boeing is comparing the updated 737 MAX's fuel efficiency to today's most efficient single-aisle airplanes.
"This recent fuel-efficiency gain will widen the performance gap in the single-aisle market, reinforcing the 737 MAX's position as the value leader," Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager for the 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a press release.
Boeing expects to begin delivering the 737 MAX in 2017. While airline customers will cheer the fuel improvement, travelers might applaud new 737 MAX systems intended to improve management of maintenance information -- essentially meaning faster maintenance and less aircraft down time.
"We are enhancing the capability of the 737 MAX to meet the future needs of a digital world," said Michael Teal, chief project engineer, 737 MAX, in the press release. "Recognizing that the Next-Generation 737 is already the most reliable single-aisle airplane with 99.7 percent of flights departing on time, we are being very deliberate about any changes we make to the airplane systems on the 737 MAX to make the airplane even easier to operate and maintain."