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Will We Ever See United 737 MAX 10s?

Will We Ever See United 737 MAX 10s?

BY HADI AHMAD Published on June 26, 2024 0 COMMENTS
Photo: AeroXplorer | Daniel Mena

 

With Boeing continuously in the hot seat, many once-loyal customers are rethinking their future fleet strategies. Specifically, the constant controversies involving shoddy build quality and issues with newer planes like the 737 MAX are too much to ignore.

 

Such issues have prompted United Airlines, a loyal Boeing customer, to rethink its future fleet, possibly without the Boeing 737 MAX 10, which it has over 100 orders for.

 

The 737 MAX 10

 

Boeing's 737 MAX 10 is the largest variant of the MAX family. The aircraft was launched in June 2017, quickly winning 240 orders and commitments from over 10 customers.

 



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Photo: AeroXplorer | 737MAX(3).jpg

 

United Airlines immediately committed to the MAX 10, even converting 100 MAX 9 orders to the larger aircraft. Following the 2017 Paris Air Show, Boeing had 361 orders for the 737 MAX 10, 214 conversions from smaller MAX models.

 

The first MAX 10 was unveiled to Boeing employees in November 2019. At this time, over 500 orders were in place for the aircraft. The plane eventually made its first flight on June 18th, 2021, kicking off its flight test and certification program.

 

Unfortunately, despite the MAX 10 being a larger aircraft, it did not offer improvements in range. The aircraft can fit 230 passengers in a single-class configuration or 189 in a two-class layout.

 



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Boeing 737-10 MAX - United Airlines | Aviation Photo #7326317 |  Airliners.net
Photo: AeroXplorer | Airliners.net

 

However, the MAX 10's range is just 3,100 nautical miles (5,700 kilometers or 3,600 miles). This represents a significant decrease from the MAX 9, which has a range of 3,300 nautical miles (6,100 kilometers of 3,800 miles).

 

Furthermore, the MAX 10 has poorer field performance, which limits its potential to serve smaller airports. This was a major blow to the aircraft compared to its competitor, Airbus' A321XLR, which has better field performance and range.

 

Despite these drawbacks, United Airlines remained committed to the plane, eventually increasing its MAX 10 order book in June 2021. The carrier's order book for the 737 MAX 10 stands at 167 planes.

 



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FIRST LOOK: United Boeing 737 MAX 10 New Livery - Aviation A2Z
Photo: AeroXplorer | Aviation A2Z

 

Delays Galore

 

Ironically enough, the 737 MAX 10 was conjured up on the suggestion of United Airlines and Korean Air a few years ago.

 

Unfortunately, despite United's constant commitment to Boeing and the MAX program, CEO Scott Kirby revealed some shocking news in a January 2024 interview.

 

Mr. Kirby stated that his airline was developing future fleet plans that did not include the 737 MAX 10. This decision was made following a swath of delays and other MAX program issues.

 



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Photo: AeroXplorer | Boeing737MAX9.jpg

 

The events of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 and the worldwide MAX 9 grounding were some of these issues.

Mr. Kirby expressed his disappointment at Boeing's manufacturing problems and also stated that the MAX 10 program is in the "best case" five years delayed.

 

Kirby told CNBC: 

"I think the MAX 9 grounding is probably the straw that broke the camel's back for us. We're going to at least build a plan that doesn't have the MAX 10 in it."

 

Initially, the 737 MAX 10s were intended to replace older aircraft such as the Boeing 757-200. United has a massive Airbus order book, too consisting of 157 A321neos and 50 A321XLRs.

 



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United is giving up on Boeing's 737 Max 10: Travel Weekly
Photo: AeroXplorer | Travel Weekly

 

Even if United ends up keeping its 737 MAX 10 orders, it is almost certain that Airbus will deliver many more aircraft to United before the MAX 10s arrive.

 

It remains to be seen if United will keep the MAX 10 as part of its plan or confirm a future without the aircraft it once suggested Boeing produce.

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Hadi Ahmad
Lifelong aviation enthusiast raised in Central Illinois. 777 is the best plane BTW.

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