MIAMI — Last night, Boeing rolled out its first 737 MAX 7 variant at their assembly line in Renton, Washington. This would be the third aircraft in the 737 MAX program to be unveiled to the public, following the MAX 8 and MAX 9.

This plane will be able to carry up to 172 passengers and fly up to 3,850 nautical miles—gaining an advantage over the Airbus A319neo, which is capable of carrying 12 fewer passengers and traveling up to 400 nautical miles less, according to both manufacturers’ charts.

“For our airline customers serving airports at high altitudes or remote locations, the MAX 7 is the ideal complement to their fleet. We look forward to demonstrating the incredible flexibility and range of this airplane,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“This is the third 737 MAX family member our team has successfully introduced in just three years. That’s a phenomenal accomplishment and a testament to the dedication of the entire 737 team.”

The 737 MAX 7’s testing campaign will go through system checks, fueling, and engine runs on the flight line.

According to Boeing, two planes will take part of the testing program, which is set to take to the skies in the next few weeks.

Southwest Airlines will be the launch customer of the variant, having ordered 30 from a previous conversion from the 737-800NG. The low-cost carrier is expected to take delivery of its first 737 MAX 7 in 2019.

With over 4,300 orders from 92 customers across the globe, the MAX program now has to unveil the 737 MAX 10 into the commercial world, which is set to launch by 2020 respectively.

The Boeing 737 MAX 7 aircraft will also be able to travel 1,000 nautical miles further than its predecessor, the 737-700, at increased performance and economics.

However, the MAX 7 product has only seen orders and options for 58 units from just three customers— WestJet (23), Southwest Airlines (30), and Canada Jetlines (5)—representing a tiny 1.5% of the total 737 MAX program order book, which has registered 4,063 orders up to date.

This small percentage might prove worrying for the North American manufacturer, especially now that Airbus has gotten its hands on the Bombardier CSeries program.

With both Airbus and Bombardier taking ownership of the 100-150-seat jet segment, and Boeing failing to offer a proper Middle of the Market replacement to its 757 program, the outlook isn’t looking too bright.

In the upcoming Dubai and Farnborough Air Shows, Boeing will push hard to score more orders for the MAX 7 variant. However, it remains unclear whether the manufacturer will meet the deadlines for taking the plane for flight displays at the Farnborough Air Show in July this year.

It also remains to be seen how Airbus and Bombardier will join forces to sell more CSeries planes, taking away precious customers from Boeing, just like it happened with Delta and the Bombardier CSeries versus the 737-700.

This 737 MAX 7 rollout might be a step forward for Boeing in the short term. But seeing them cope with the Middle of the Market hole they dug themselves in, as well as the new Airbus & Bombardier marriage, will be the headline maker in the upcoming months.

Update: Photos by Brandon Farris.