MIAMI — Boeing has announced today at the Singapore Airshow that the 737 MAX 10 has scored a major milestone. According to the manufacturer, the MAX 10 has reached its firm configuration details for the airframe.
This means that the engineers at Boeing now have all of the specifications completed to start developing and creating the aircraft type. Deliveries for the first batch of MAX 10 planes are expected to happen 2020.
Design complete! #737MAX 10 reaches firm configuration. The largest member of the MAX family will be the most efficient & profitable single aisle airplane the market has ever seen.✈️ https://t.co/4yNZkvCeTa pic.twitter.com/KSKzYwXBbT
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) February 7, 2018
“The steps we’ve taken to reach this point, ensure the MAX 10 will be the most efficient and profitable single-aisle aeroplane the market has ever seen,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“We’re working closely with our airline customers to deliver on the performance and efficiency benefits we’ve promised,” he said.
The 737 MAX 10 will be 66 inches longer than the 737 MAX 9’s fuselage. The project will now move into the detailed design phase prior to the start of production.
In terms of capacity, the aircraft will be able to carry up to 230 passengers, as well as delivering 5% lower trip costs and 5% lower seat-mile costs compared to its competition, according to Boeing.
The MAX 10’s success has stemmed from a strong launch at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The variant itself now has over 416 orders and commitments from 18 different customers.
The Boeing 737 MAX family has already carried over 1.8 million passengers since its launch in 2017 with the 737 MAX 8. With the first MAX 9 delivery lingering ahead within the next few weeks, these passengers numbers will continue to climb.
With this 737 MAX 10 configuration update announced at the Singapore Airshow, it will be interesting to see whether Boeing has got any orders tied up their sleeves or whether they are going to leave it for the Farnborough Air Show later in the Summer.
What about Competition?
Although these details have been confirmed by Boeing, it still presents a view of being outgunned by their competitor. In terms of the Middle of the Market (MoM) segment, the Airbus A321neo not only beats the Boeing 737 MAX 10 on seating capacity, at up to 240 seats in a one-class configuration, but also on total sales and commitments.
Airbus claims that its A321neoLR will outclass the 737 MAX 10. The European manufacturer is certain that its A321neo product is the new leader in the MoM segment because of the distance it can travel—500-800 miles more than the 737 MAX—and a higher capacity of cargo and passengers.
And with a lower-density cabin in the A321neoLR, the innovations and development of that particular variant could make the aircraft travel up to 5,000 nautical miles, meaning that although the seat count could be lower than the 737 MAX 10, airlines will have the possibility to fly longer/thinner routes to smaller airports that have the demand for longer range routes, but not enough to accommodate a wide body aircraft.
For customers that want the fuel efficiency, Airbus again beats Boeing on this card. The A321neo and neoLR variants will provide up to 20% fuel efficiency compared to the 737 MAX 10’s eight percent (still to be confirmed once Boeing completes flight testing on the MAX 10).
The A320family has a far larger market share than the 737 MAX family, but ultimately, for 10 seats more and further distance, customers may be more inclined to the NEO family.
However, the distance gap of between 500-800 miles could be compromised by carriers if they know that they can fill their seats. At the end of the day, it is always a matter of perspective and will always be judged by the customers, rather than the critics.