LONDON — Boeing officials are lukewarm on the prospects for the 737 MAX 10X, a stretch of its 737 MAX 9 variant meant to compete with rival Airbus’ A321neo. At a briefing Monday at the Farnborough Airshow following the presentation of Boeing’s Current Market Outlook (CMO), John Wojick, Boeing’s SVP of Global Sales & Marketing threw cold water on the prospects for a MAX 10X even as he confirmed a higher seat count for the 737 MAX 7 (previously dubbed the 737 MAX 7.5):
“We don’t see a larger MAX 9 making sense. It already flies as far and carries as many passengers as the 321neo. It would not make sense to develop an aircraft that carries slightly more passengers and fly the same range. We are talking to customers to see if it’s really needed. Like we did with the new plan for the 737 MAX 7.”
The proposed 737 MAX 10X was a stretch of the 737 MAX 9 that would add 4-5 rows (25-30 passengers) to the current largest variant in Boeing’s MAX family for entry into service (EIS) by the end of the decade. The idea was to drive down unit costs so as to make Boeing competitive with the A321neo, which has won about a 70% market share against the 737 MAX 9. However, Boeing officials reportedly worried about decreased performance capabilities and cannibalization of existing sales, as well as a potential competitive response from Airbus to stretch the A321neo and eliminate any advantages gained with the MAX 10X.
While Boeing has not formally taken a MAX 10X off the table, most signs now point away from Boeing developing the stretch. Boeing’s management and board of directors now turn to the question of whether to build a clean sheet Middle of Market (MoM) airplane for EIS in the middle of the next decade.