Boeing 737-700 VS 737-800: Main differences

Boeing 737-700 vs. 737-800: Main Differences
Aspect Boeing 737-700 Boeing 737-800
Introduction Year 1997 1998
Length 110 ft 4 in (33.6 m) 129 ft 6 in (39.5 m)
Wingspan 112 ft 7 in (34.3 m) 117 ft 5 in (35.8 m)
Seating Capacity 126 to 149 passengers 162 to 189 passengers
Range 3,010 to 3,190 nautical miles (5,570 to 5,910 km) 2,935 to 3,595 nautical miles (5,435 to 6,660 km)
Max Takeoff Weight 154,500 to 171,000 lb (70,100 to 77,600 kg) 174,200 to 189,200 lb (79,000 to 85,800 kg)
Engines CFM56-7 series CFM56-7 series
Market Segment Short to medium-haul Medium-haul
First Flight February 9, 1997 July 31, 1997
Number Built 1,127 (as of December 2021) 5,001 (as of December 2021)


The Boeing 737 series has been a cornerstone of commercial aviation for decades, and within this family, the -700 and -800 models stand out as versatile workhorses. Understanding the nuanced differences between the Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737-800 is crucial for airlines tailoring their fleets to specific operational requirements.

Size and Capacity

The most apparent distinction between the Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 lies in their size and passenger capacity. The Boeing 737-800, being longer, can accommodate around 160 to 189 passengers in a typical two-class configuration. This larger seating capacity makes the 737-800 a preferred choice for airlines operating routes with higher passenger demand, where maximizing the number of passengers carried is crucial for profitability.

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On the other hand, the Boeing 737-700 is smaller and typically seats approximately 126 to 149 passengers. While still a versatile option for airlines, the -700 variant is often favored in markets with lower passenger demand or on routes where smaller aircraft are more suitable. This makes the 737-700 a compelling choice for airlines focusing on efficiency and cost-effectiveness while maintaining flexibility in their fleet operations.

Range and Performance

The size difference between the Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 also translates to variations in range and performance. While both models share impressive operational capabilities, the Boeing 737-700, with its smaller size, often has a slightly longer range. This can be advantageous for airlines operating shorter routes or in regions where range flexibility is a critical factor. The 737-700's extended range allows airlines to serve destinations that may not be feasible with larger aircraft, providing greater route options and operational flexibility.


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Winglets, those distinctive upward-curving extensions at the wingtips, play a crucial role in enhancing fuel efficiency. The Boeing 737-800 typically comes equipped with winglets as a standard feature, contributing to reduced drag and improved overall performance. These winglets help to mitigate the effects of induced drag, thereby increasing fuel efficiency and extending the aircraft's range. Additionally, they enhance stability during flight, especially during turbulent conditions, resulting in a smoother and more comfortable ride for passengers.

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The presence of winglets on the Boeing 737-700 varies among different operators. While some airlines choose to equip their 737-700 aircraft with winglets to capitalize on the fuel-saving benefits and performance improvements they offer, others may opt not to include them in their configurations. This variability allows airlines to tailor their fleet specifications to their specific operational needs and cost considerations. However, it's worth noting that many airlines have retrofitted their older 737-700 aircraft with winglets to enhance fuel efficiency and remain competitive in the aviation industry.

Operational Flexibility

The Boeing 737-700's smaller size provides operational flexibility, making it well-suited for airlines operating in airports with shorter runways or facing capacity constraints. This characteristic enhances its attractiveness for carriers navigating routes with specific operational challenges.

Cost Considerations

Cost is a critical factor in airline fleet decisions. The Boeing 737-700, being smaller, generally comes with a lower purchase price compared to the -800. This cost advantage, combined with its operational flexibility, positions the -700 as an appealing option for airlines seeking efficiency without compromising on performance.

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Both the Boeing 737-700 and -800 have earned widespread adoption globally. However, the -800, with its larger seating capacity and versatility, tends to be more prevalent in the fleets of major carriers handling higher passenger volumes and longer routes. Fleet commonality, a consideration for many airlines, is higher with the -800 due to its shared characteristics with other variants in the 737NG family.

As part of Boeing's Next-Generation (NG) series, both the -700 and -800 incorporate modern technology for enhanced fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and improved passenger comfort. Airlines considering fleet modernization often evaluate the technological advancements and efficiency gains offered by each model.

Choosing between the Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737-800 involves a careful evaluation of an airline's specific operational needs, route structure, and passenger demand. While both models share the renowned efficiency and reliability of the 737 series, these detailed differences empower airlines to tailor their fleets, ensuring optimal performance and cost-effectiveness in diverse market scenarios.

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