Lion Air provisionally orders 50 Boeing 737 MAX 10

Boeing Co is set to receive orders and commitments worth roughly US$30bil for the stretched Max 10 upgrade of the 737 workhorse, as its first new jet in nearly four years counters Airbus SE's headstart at the largest end of the single-aisle aircraft market.

"As happens in many countries growing at the pace at which India is growing, many airports are running out of capacity and for those airports this is a flawless aircraft", he told a news conference. Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA CEO Bjorn Kjos wasn't convinced the plane's range is compatible with the discount carrier's strategy of plying the North Atlantic with single-aisle aircraft.

With room for as many as 230 seats, the 737 MAX 10 is Boeing's answer to the Airbus A321neo, which has been outselling the smaller MAX 9 at a rate of 5-to-1.

I expect that more customers will be unveiled on the Paris Air Show. Even ahead of the Boeing announcement, John Leahy, chief plane salesman at Airbus said his rival product will have greater range and lower per-seat costs.

In a game where very high fuel prices are fading into recent history, real purchase prices are said to make or break deals rather than claims of margins of technical or design superiority.

However, the MAX 10 doesn't solve all of Boeing's 737 MAX problems.

The biggest event in the aviation industry kicked off Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron flying into the Paris Air Show aboard an Airbus A400M military transporter. The MAX 9 typically seats 178. The carrier plans to grow its operational fleet to 100 airplanes by 2020 and looks to expand regionally with the new 737 MAX family of airplanes.

Analysts said one unknown quantity is how numerous MAX 10 orders may merely be replacing previous orders for other variants as Boeing rejigs its medium-haul portfolio.

However, after three straight years with fewer orders than deliveries, Boeing ended May with 670 unfilled orders for the 787 family.

The MAX 10 will be the largest of the updated 737 series, which competes head on with Airbus s A320 neo family.

So what's new with Boeing's upgraded best-selling jetliner?

Part of Boeing's agenda for this year's Paris Air Show is to show off its 737 Max 9 in the hopes of finding new airline customers for the jet, which has had disappointing sales numbers so far.

"SpiceJet continues to be an aviation leader and strong Boeing partner and we are honored to have them join 737 MAX 10 launch group", said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president, Asia Pacific & India, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. United Airlines and Indonesia's Lion Mentari Airlines PT are also expected to place contracts at the Paris expo, people familiar with the negotiations said earlier this month.

For the time being, Canada's Bombardier didn't engage in any sniping over Boeing's complaints over what the Chicago-based company called "dumping" of the C Series in the USA market.

  • Zachary Reyes